Maputo — The islamist terrorists operating in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado have carried their war across the border into Tanzania, where they murdered and beheaded 20 people on Wednesday night, according to a report in Monday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique", citing Tanzanian sources.
The raid was against the village of Kitaya, in Mtwara province, near the border with the Cabo Delgado district of Palma.
According to military sources cited by the newssheet, the terrorists entered Tanzania by sea, going up the Rovuma river that forms the border between Mozambique and Tanzania.
The raiders burnt down houses, destroyed an armoured vehicle and stole money and military equipment. The terrorist network that calls itself "Islamic State" claimed responsibility for the attack, and said it had killed three Tanzanian soldiers.
Videos and photographs circulated by the terrorists on social media show them decapitating a man and throwing his head onto a road. In the videos the murderers speak in Swahili (which is the lingua franca of much of east Africa, including Tanzania), in Emakua (one of the main languages of northern Mozambican), and in Kimwani (only spoken in a few Cabo Delgado coastal districts).
One of the terrorists can be heard saying ""We have nothing to do with the coming elections (in Tanzania). We are here, and we are going to kill and leave his head on the road. They are pigs. God is great".
In a second video, terrorists are tearing up a poster of Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who is standing for a second term of office. "Here is the face of Magufuli, which means we are in his country. We are the Al-Shabaabs of Mozambique and we have come here to teach you our doctrine".
The Cabo Delgado group have been called "Al-Shabaab" colloquially for at least three years, and now seem to be using the name themselves. They are not known to have any formal connection with the Somali terrorist group of that name.
The raiders also threatened to return, reports a second newssheet, "Mediafax". There are also reports, not yet confirmed, of an attack against a second village, Mahembe, about eight kilometres from Kitaya.
In Cabo Delgado, people fleeing from the terrorist attacks, are continuing to pour into the provincial capital, Pemba. According to "Carta de Mocambique", on Saturday 25 boats, each carrying between 30 and 40 displaced people, arrived at Pemba's Paquitequete beach.
In all, some 700 people arrived, fleeing from Macomia district, and from islands in the Quirimbas archipelago.
The jihadists attacked Macomia town last week, but were driven back by the defence and security forces. The situation in Macomia is said to remain tense.