US welcomes court’s decision to set aside extradition of former finance minister to Mozambique
Map of central Mozambique: DW
Another attack occurred yesterday on National Road Number 1, the main road linking southern and northern Mozambique. Shots fired at a cargo truck by an armed group injured two persons, witnesses and officials told Lusa today.
Speaking to Lusa, the leader of Renamo’s self-proclaimed “Military Junta” denied any responsibility for this attack.
The driver and driver’s mate of the poultry feed lorry were fired upon on Tuesday morning at Ponte Nova, 400 metres from the village of Chibuto, about 40 kilometres south of Inchope in Manica province, central Mozambique.
“The shots must have been fired head-on, as the bullets pierced the windshield and hit the occupants,” Dinis Filipe, a village resident who witnessed the attack, said. Filipe told Lusa how he himself came to the rescue of the victims, who took refuge in the village.
Another resident told Lusa that four shots were heard at around 6:00 a.m., and that he later learned that they had been fired at a cargo truck which was immobilised at the scene of the attack.
“After the attack, the driver and aide arrived here bleeding from the arm and face,” Jose Combino, another village resident, told Lusa, confirming that the victims had abandoned the vehicle at the scene of the attack.
“At about 11:00 a.m., a contingent of the UIR [Rapid Intervention Unit] arrived and removed the vehicle from the attack site and took it to Inchope,” Combino added.
A hospital source in Inchope confirmed to Lusa that two individuals were admitted to the local health centre with gunshot and glass splinters wounds.
Contacted by Lusa on Tuesday, Mariano Nhongo, leader of Renamo’s self-proclaimed “Military Junta”, denied the attack, saying it occurred in a zone far distant from his present location.
Nhongo, who is in dispute with the leadership of the main opposition party and has been accused by the authorities of being the mastermind of the attacks, said: “The attack took place far from where I am.”
This is the first attack since Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi announced two weeks ago in central Gorongosa that he had ordered the Defence and Security Forces to “chase and capture the faceless attackers” who have been targeting civilians and military forces since August in central Mozambique.
Armed attacks against vehicles on National Road Number 1 in central Mozambique have already killed at least 10 people, authorities blaming Renamo splinter group guerrillas for the attacks. The official Renamo opposition party in Mozambique denies any involvement.
Violence of a similar type erupted in the region in 2015, following the 2014 elections, after which former Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama rejected Frelimo’s victory. Dhlakama steadfastly denied any involvement in the clashes.
Now, the scenario is even more complex, since an unknown number of Renamo guerrillas headed by Mariano Nhongo in June rebelled against party leader Ossufo Momade, threatening to destabilise the region.
In contacts with Lusa and other media outlets, Nhongo has however denied that his men were the perpetrators of the attacks.
Renamo and the government signed a peace agreement in August.
Just in: Total confirms Covid-19 case in Afungi, Mozambique - Zitamar