Maputo — The Mozambican defence and security forces have killed six ringleaders of the islamist terrorists operating in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, according to a report in "Noticias de Defesa", an unofficial website that supports the Mozambican forces.
One of those killed was a Tanzanian national, and two were described as "Arabs". The operations in which they were killed took place in Macomia and Muidumbe districts, where the defence forces are driving terrorists out of their hideouts.
The "Noticias de Defesa" source says the terrorists are running short of supplies, and some of their main bases have been dismantled. As a result members of the terrorist groups are now deserting.
Three of the young terrorist recruits have abandoned the Cabo Delgado bush and plan to apply for the amnesty promised by President Filipe Nyusi to those who voluntarily leave the terrorist ranks. The three were apparently recruited in the neighbouring province of Nampula, and efforts are being made to return them safely to their home district of Memba.
Police sources said that recruits have been attracted to the terrorist cause, not because of any religious or ideological conviction, but because they have been promised large sums of money.
These reports are in line with claims made in late January that the jihadists are running out of food. A man who escaped from a terrorist camp in Manilha village, in Mocimboa da Praia district, told the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique" that "there are no conditions for survival" in the islamist bases.
There is no more food, he said, and the terrorists can no longer steal food from villagers, because they have all fled from the area.
This survivor claimed there had been a meeting in January between the local jihadists, and a Tanzanian citizen, apparently the commander of the group. The Tanzanian said they could no longer carry out armed attacks, because there was no money.
He advised the Mozambicans to return to their places of origins. The Mozambicans protested that this was impossible - they feared for their lives, if they were to show their faces in their home villages.