Maputo — Islamist insurgents on Wednesday attacked the town of Quissanga in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
Photographs of the attack are now circulating on WhatsApp. One shows a group of eight masked men posing triumphantly in front of the Quissanga District Police Command, and waving the black flag of the Islamic State/ISIS terror group. One of the men is holding a bazooka, and two have AK-47 assault rifles.
There was clearly fighting in Quissanga, since some of the photos show a large number of spent cartridges.
Other photos show bodies. In one there is a body wearing a uniform of the Mozambican armed forces (FADM), and in another the victim is wearing what seem to be police boots.
The other photos are almost certainly of civilians. One is of a man whose body has been badly burnt and mutilated. Another is of a man wearing a pair of sandals, with no sign of any military equipment or uniform.
The most gruesome of these photos shows a pile of seven bodies. Again there is no sign of any military or police equipment or clothing, and so it seems safe to conclude that these victims were all civilians.
So far the authorities have made no public comment on the events in Quissanga. The attack comes as the Defence Minister, Jaime Neto, and the Interior Minister, Amade Miquidade, are in Cabo Delgado assessing the military situation.
Quissanga is the second district capital to be attacked in the space of three days. The first was Mocimboa da Praia, occupied by the terrorists on Monday, and held for most of the day.