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Mozambique’s ministry of defence said on Wednesday that it shot on Monday night to Tuesday a “considerable number” of members of the armed groups who have destroyed villages and murdered residents in the province of Cabo Delgado, north of the country.
The defence and security forces have carried out “an artillery coup against criminals in the Mbau region, between the Messalo and Muera rivers, in the Mocímboa da Praia district,” the ministry said in a statement.
The action “resulted in the annihilation of a considerable number of fighters, destruction of the camp and a disorderly escape by some of them,” the government said, without giving further details.
The operations continue and the defence and security forces continue in “combative readiness” it added.
The area, sometimes referred to as Nbau and sometimes referred to as Mbau, was the scene of clashes on 23 September, following an attack by the Islamic State (IS) ‘jihadist’ group, in which 10 people were reportedly killed and several houses were burned down, including the headquarters of the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo).
Mozambique is in an electoral campaign for the general elections on 15 October in which Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and his party, Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Frelimo, who has ruled since independence in 1975), go to the polls to maintain power.
National and foreign election observers have expressed concern that the unstable situation in Cabo Delgado may prevent voters from voting, but the police have said that there will be security conditions throughout the province.
The Cabo Delgado region has been affected since October 2017 by armed attacks carried out by groups set up in mosques in the region and which broke out in Mocímboa da Praia.
As a result, at least 250 people have already died, almost all in isolated villages and during bush clashes, but on some occasions the violence has already hit transport on the main tarred road in the region, as well as the area of megaprojects for gas exploration – in which there are several subcontractors are Portuguese.
Authorities and analysts heard by Lusa have found it unreliable that there is genuine involvement of the terrorist group in the attacks, going beyond any contact with movements on the ground.Source: Lusa
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