Maputo — Maputo 30 Oct (AIM) - Bernadino Rafael, the general commander of the Mozambican police, declared on Thursday, in Pemba, capital of the northern province of Cabo Delgado, that between Monday and Thursday the defence and security forces had killed 89 islamist terrorists in various operations in the province.
Since a further 19 of the jihadists were killed in what seems to have been a separate operation on Thursday morning, against a sprawling complex in Mocimboa da Praia district, which the terrorists call "Base Syria", the complete number of islamist dead in the three day period may have been 108.
Rafael added that, in the Thursday operation against "Base Syria", the defence forces caught the jihadists while they were cooking. "We destroyed 16 cooking pots of 50 litres and everything they contained", he said. "19 terrorists who tried to open fire against the defence and security forces were immediately killed".
Another attack on the Base Syria complex concentrated on the jihadist logistics. "We destroyed six of the terrorists' camps", said Rafael. "We destroyed 15 vehicles which the terrorists used in their raids against communities. We also destroyed 20 motor-cycles and three tonnes of various foodstuffs that they had looted".
Rafael was speaking at the opening of a meeting of the Coordinating Council of the police force. The numbers he gave were much larger than those claimed by Interior Minister Amade Miquidade, who told reporters in Maputo on Thursday that 22 terrorists had been killed in the latest operations.
Meanwhile, the administrator of the Cabo Delgado district of Muidumbe, Saide Aly Chabane, has ordered all public employees who abandoned their posts earlier in the year because of terrorist attacks to return to work.
The jihadists overran the district capital on 8 April, but were subsequently driven back. The authorities claim that Muidumbe is now calm.
In a circular dated 23 October, and cited in Friday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique", Chabane said a climate of security has returned to the district, allowing the reconstruction of buildings damaged by the terrorists and the resumption of public services.
He warned that all public servants must return to work by 1 November. Those who do not show up will be marked absent, and their wages will be docked.