Mozambique: First Islamist Attacks Shock the Region

According to the Shabelle Media Network in Mogadishu, a group of about 30 men attacked three police stations in the small town of Mocímboa da Praia in the northern-most province of Cabo Delgado, about 30 km from the Tanzania border, early on 5 October.

‘There was a prompt response from the police; two AK-47 rifles were seized,’ said Inacio Dina, spokesperson of the General Command of the Mozambican police at a press conference in Maputo. He said two police officers were shot dead, and two gang members were captured. According to other reports, 16 people died, including a community leader.

The same group, it seems, struck early on 21 October, clashing with government forces in the fishing village of Maluku, some 30 km from Mocímboa da Praia. ‘These attacks prompted the villagers to flee and the village is currently deserted,’ a security industry source said.

Further clashes were reported by independent sources during the night of 22 October at a village called Columbe, about 16 km south of an installation of Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corporation which is exploring for oil and natural gas there. The company is evacuating its personnel, the sources say.

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