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Residents of the headquarters of the administrative post of Olumbe [Ulumbi] in the district of Palma, Cabo Delgado, were disturbed by a group of armed men of unknown origin on Saturday night.
Palma administrator David Mashimbuko confirmed the disturbance to Notícias but was unable to confirm that the attackers killed civilians, burned down houses and vandalised public institutions.
“There were disturbances on Saturday night in Olumbe, and the police are on the ground assessing what exactly happened. We are waiting to hear from them,” Mashimbuko said.
The PRM district commander in Palma, Gervásio Vance Mahajage, also told Noticias that he could not advance details of the incident because the force deployed to the Olumbe administrative post headquarters had not yet reported back on the situation .
According to social networks, armed men killed five civilians, burned down 30 houses and robbed some small shops, among other things.
Since November of last year, Palma and Mocímboa da Praia districts have been the scene of attacks by armed individuals whose origins and motivations are yet to be clarified. [Notícias]
5 civilians killed in Ulumbi [Olumbe]; attacks in Ntuleni too – Diário de Moçambique report
Meanwhile, Diário de Moçambique [DM] quotes “a source based in Mocímboa da Praia, about 90 kilometers from where the attack took place,” as confirming the incident in Ulumbi and saying that “until yesterday a team of Defence and Security Forces was in the area to control the situation”. The DM reports that “at least five people were killed and several stalls burned down at the early hours of Sunday during an armed attack allegedly carried out by the al-Shabaab extremist group at the Ulumbi administrative post in the Palma district of Cabo Delgado province North of Mozambique”.
There is still little information on the circumstances in which the attack occurred, reads the DM report, but it is known that it occurred around 3 am yesterday (Sunday) and involved a group of armed men whose mission and goals are yet unknown.
“In fact,word is that five people have been killed, but on the ground it has been confirmed the fatal shooting of five civilians. We still do not have concrete information on the provenance of this group, but people associate it with Al-Shabaab, individuals who in recent times have been sowing panic and terror in the district of Mocímboa da Praia, ” the same source has reportedly told DM, adding that the attacks also affected the village of Ntuleni.
“They also went to the village of Ntuleni and burned several stalls [‘barracas’], but here there was no record of deaths,” the source assured us.
DM notes that in October last year, people in the district of Palma neutralised 17 youths who were searching for a hiding place after having allegedly participated in armed incursions in various parts of Mocímboa da Praia district.
With the arrest, the number of suspects in the attacks, which resulted in the death of two police officers, one civilian and 14 armed men, increased to 63.
Although the police do not acknowledge the group’s connection with extremists, several reports point to the opposite, reads te DM report pointing out that the group was recently declared a terrorist by law enforcement authorities after failing to respond to a call on mandatory surrender and voluntary delivery of firearms.Notícias / Diário de Moçambique