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A group of armed men from Renamo, the largest opposition party in Mozambique, attacked the Inhazonia open prison on Monday morning, freeing 48 prisoners. They then went on to steal various items form the Honde administrative post in Báruè district in the central province of Manica.
The gang also vandalized the local health center, where they stole drugs, and a Vanduzi Company farm, where they stole four motorcycles and various tools.
Manica police spokeswoman Elsídia Filipe said the attack took place at dawn on Monday. The Renamo men stole prison guard uniforms and handcuffs from the open prison as well as setting prisoners free. At the farm, they fired shots but the workers fled and no-one was hurt.
Filipe said that Defence and Security Forces units had been sent to the area to deal with marauders who routinely terrorise the Honde area and National Highway EN7, which connects Manica to neighbouring Tete province.
Meanwhile, search and arrest operations for the fugitive prisoners continue.
“We are working to return all fugitives to jail. We have already recaptured six, and have clues as to the whereabouts of the others. Work continues in communities to bring them back to justice,” Filipe said.
Inhazonia open prison is part of the Manica Regional Agricultural Penitentiary, where prisoners engage in food production and other social tasks.
Renamo continues to disrupt the lives of residents in Honde, a productive area considered one of the granaries of the Báruè district and the province of Manica in general. As a result, many families have left the area.Source: AIM Moçambique