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File photo: Lusa
Ninety people have been killed and 67 injured since the beginning of the attacks by armed groups a year ago in villages of the Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique, the Mozambican police said on Thursday.
“So far the criminals have killed 90 Mozambican citizens and injured 67”, said Bernardino Rafael, the general commander of the republic police of Mozambique (PRM), after a ceremony of celebration of peace and reconciliation in Maputo celebrated on 4 October in Mozambique.
He also added that the groups destroyed a total of 1,605 homes in the villages of Cabo Delgado province.
280 people suspected of being involved in the attacks have been arrested. Three camps that belonged to the group were destroyed, according to Rafael.
“The police are working with the communities”, said Bernardino Rafael, adding that “the defence and security forces continue to work to protect the population of that region”.
Unknown groups have been attacking remote villages in Cabo Delgado province since October 2017. These groups never made any claim nor said their intentions, but researchers suggest that trafficking networks of heroin, ivory, rubies and timber are linked to this violence.
These attacks are taking place at a time when investments are being made by oil and natural gas companies in the region, but the attackers have not entered the perimeter reserved for the enterprises.
The president of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, said on Tuesday that a foreign citizen with business in the north was arrested for being one of the suspects of recruiting and instrumentalising young people to attack the villages in the province of Cabo Delgado.
“We caught one of the people tricking the children. I even wanted to bring him here today, but my minister says he is [imprisoned] in Nampula”, Nyusi said in a public rally before hundreds of people in Mueda.
On Wednesday, the judicial court of the Cabo Delgado province began the trial of 189 people accused of being involved in the armed attacks in the regions.
Among the defendants are Mozambicans, Tanzanians, Somalis and citizens from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the source.Source: Lusa