Mozambique: Terrorists Murder Ten and Loot Food and Vehicles in Macomia

Rwandan security forces alongside their Mozambican counterparts and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) forces in Cabo Delgado (file photo)

Maputo — Islamist terrorists killed at least ten people, looted food, and stole 15 vehicles during their attack on Friday against the town of Macomia, in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.

According to local sources, cited in Monday's issue of the independent newsheet "Carta de Moçambique', the terrorists occupied the four main access routes to Macomia.

According to one eye-witness, named Muchude Salimo Abudo, "during the occupation, which lasted for more than 24 hours, the terrorists killed more than ten people, most of them members of the defence and security forces. Four civilians were hit by stray bullets in the Nanga and Xinavane neighbourhoods and food was looted from shops.'

Local residents also claim that lifeless bodies were found in various regions. Abudo said "we found two bodies in Changane, the same number in Napulubo and one, a military officer, was found there at the station. Another four bodies were found in the Ceta region and here I must also include the commander of the Xinavane local force and another from the armed forces right here in Nanga'.

According to the same source, some of the seized vehicles belonged to the non-governmental organizations, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders, MSF), and the Foundation Against Hunger, as well as to the Local Force and private individuals.

"These cars had been used to carry food to Mucojo. In fact, many things were stolen and burnt at MSF and at the Foundation Against Hunger, as well as public institutions', he said.

An MSF official in Macomia confirmed the looting of goods, including the theft of medicines and almost all the vehicles, but would not comment on the kidnapping of staff from his or other humanitarian organizations in Macomia.

The sources believe that there were also casualties on the terrorist side, in addition to those mentioned by the authorities.

"I saw two people wounded on the side of the terrorists. Other people right here in the town saw the wounded loaded onto a motorbike heading towards Mucojo. So they [the terrorists] suffered too, but not as much', one source said.

Resistance by the defence and security lasted for about an hour, and the terrorists apparently retreated. But then they returned in greater strength. Jihadists who had initially remained on the outskirts of Macomia joined the main attacking force. The terrorists overwhelmed the defenders and occupied the town.

Some reports, cited by the newssheet "Mediafax', say that the jihadists held meetings with local residents at which they spoke about Islam, and supposedly apologised for any deaths and injuries during the attack.

When they left the town on Sunday, they took vehicles laden down with stolen food and other goods. It is believed they returned to terrorist bases near the Messalo river, in the Mucojo and Quiterajo administrative posts.

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