Maputo — Islamist terrorists struck at four villages in Muidumbe district, in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado on Monday and Tuesday, according to a report in Wednesday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique" .
Residents of Ntchinga village said the insurgents held a meeting with the local population, speaking in the Kimwani language. The man addressing the meeting spoke with an accent identified as that of Kimwani speakers in the district of Mocimboa da Praia, where the insurgency began in 2017.
A recording was made of the meeting and circulated on social media. The speaker claimed the insurgents want to set up "an Islamic government".
He said the attackers had occupied the village "to show that the government of the day is unjust. It humiliates the poor and gives advantages to the rich. The people who are detained are from the lower classes and this is not just. Whether people want it or not, we are defending Islam".
"We want an Islamic government, not a government of unbelievers", the anonymous speaker continued. "Out in the bush, there are so many of us. We want to remove the soldiers because, for us, they are pigs. They and you joined together, wishing that we were dead. But no, Allahu Akhbar (God is great)!"
He claimed that an Islamic government would be one of peace, and that the current Mozambican government "are things of people, and this is not in the Koran". He said the insurgents had not destroyed anything in the village and "if anything has been destroyed, it's nothing to do with us. It's your unjust government."
He boasted that the islamists "have all the information and the plans which the soldiers, the pigs, are preparing against us".
The other Muidumbe villages occupied by the insurgents were Miangalewa, Namakunde and Moatide. The papers' sources claimed that some 300 troops withdrew from Miangalewa, and the raiders sang "nobody can stop us, nobody will defeat us".
However, military sources contacted by "Carta de Mocambique" said six people were killed in clashes, and assorted property was looted or destroyed.
In the attack on Moatide, a health centre, a secondary school and several other buildings were destroyed.
Bilibiza, in Quissanga district, was occupied again on Monday. Much of the Bilibiza administrative post had already been destroyed in an attack on 29 January, when the terrorists burnt down five schools - three primary schools, the Bilibiza Agricultural Institute and the Teacher Training College - as well as the local health centre, the Administrative Post secretariat, 30 informal shops and stalls, a police car and over 800 houses.
However, an insurgent attack against the provincial capital, the city of Pemba, supposedly planned for Tuesday, turned out to be no more than a rumour.