AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
IN one of the most gruesome killings, Islamic militants have attacked a village in northern Mozambique, beheaded more than 50 people, chopped up the bodies of victims and set their homes alight.
According to reports, the victims were rounded up and taken to a football field where they were killed. Their dismembered bodies were found scattered across a forest not far from the field.
According to the BBC, the militants’ gunmen chanted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as they raided a village and abducted some of its women, while others slaughtered victims in nearby Muatide.
The attack is the latest in a growing battle between the Mozambican government and extremists linked to ISIS.
This is not the first attack. A few weeks ago, militants attacked villages, looting and burning homes.
‘Police learned of the massacre committed by the insurgents through reports of people who found corpses in the woods,’ said an officer in the Mueda district.
‘It was possible to count 20 bodies spread over an area of about 500 metres,’ he added.
‘These were young people who were at an initiation rite ceremony accompanied by their advisers.’
An aid worker in Mueda said body parts had been sent to the victims’ families for burial.
Jihadists have caused havoc in the province over the past three years, ravaging villages and towns as part of their insurgency in the province of Cabo Delgado.
The unrest has killed over 2,000 people since 2017, more than half of them civilians, according to the US-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data group.
Over 400,000 others have been displaced by the conflict and sought refuge in nearby towns and cities.
According to Doctors without Borders, at least 10,000 people fled to the provincial capital Pemba via boat over the past week alone, raising concerns over access to clean water and sanitation.