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A new attack by an armed group in central Mozambique yesterday killed three people and injured several on National Road 1 (EN1), the main road linking the centre and north of the country, witnesses and authorities told Lusa.
A cargo truck and a light vehicle were hit by a “blast of bullets” fired from a hill by unknown gunmen in Ziro, between the Nhamatanda and Gorongosa districts.
The attack took place in an area near where a policeman was shot, three others tied up and a patrol car set on fire last week.
The casualties recorded yesterday bring the death toll from attacks in central Mozambique since August to seven .
Trader Rosaquel Ataide, a witness who survived the shooting, told Lusa yesterday that “a truck driver died behind the wheel and another passenger also died.” “Many shots were fired and were coming from both sides of the road.”
A third person died while being transferred from Inchope Health Center to Chimoio Provincial Hospital, a hospital source told Lusa.
A medical source at the Chimoio Provincial Hospital, confirmed to Lusa the one deceased man and two wounded patients, one of them in serious condition and all with bullet wounds, had been admitted to the hospital.
Another witness said the armed group attacked the vehicles as they drove north at about 6:00 a.m., with the three injured – one of whom lost his life on his way to the hospital – being transported to the Inchope Health Centre.
“It was a sudden attack, and we survived by crouching under our vehicle,” Fulgencio Jornal, another witness, explained. The attack occurred as the three vehicles drove along together, he added.
On Wednesday, October 23, a Mozambican police officer died during an attack on a patrol car by an armed group. Police assume the perpetrators are dissident guerrillas of the Renamo Military Junta headed by Mariano Nhongo, but the latter has denied the group’s involvement.
The area in which the attack has been reported has since August been the scene of armed raids on vehicles which have resulted in seven deaths and multiple injuries, according to local authorities.
Central Mozambique was historically the locus of armed clashes between government forces and the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) until December 2016, pending the signing of a peace agreement on 6 August.
An unknown numbers of guerrillas remaining in the area have formed a self-proclaimed Military Junta to challenge Ossufo Momade’s leadership of Renamo, demanding renegotiation of their disarmament and reintegration agreement. The group has threatened more than once to resort to violence if its demands are not met.Source: Lusa
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