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Seven people were killed and seven others were injured in an attack by unidentified armed insurgents in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, local sources told Lusa on Sunday.
The attack took place around 07:00 a.m. at the administrative post in Mpundanhar, when an armed group intercepted an open van carrying passengers on a road linking Palma and Mpundanhar.
After stopping the vehicle with gunfire, the group forced the passengers to alight and then attacked them using machetes and other weapons, sources said.
In total, seven people died, including the driver of the vehicle, who was beheaded at the scene. Of the seven dead, six were women, some said to have been raped before being murdered.
Lusa contacted a Mozambican police spokesman in Cabo Delgado, Augusto Guta, to talk about this case today.
Violence in Cabo Delgado has gained visibility since an armed attack on police in Mocimboa da Praia in October 2017, in which two agents were killed by a group from a local mosque preaching insurgency against the state, whose habits had been a source of friction with residents for at least two years.
Since Mocimboa da Praia, the attacks have always occurred far from asphalt roads and well away from the infrastructure of petroleum companies exploiting natural gas in the Afungi peninsula in Palma.
According to official figures, about 100 people, including residents, alleged assailants and elements of the security forces, have died since the wave of violence began.
Last week, the Mozambican Public Prosecutor’s Office added five more names to the list of about 200 people accused of carrying out the armed attacks in Cabo Delgado.
The December 24 indictment names South African businessman Andre Hanekom, 60, as “financier, logistical and coordinator of the attacks”, attributing to him the aim of “creating instability and preventing the exploitation of natural gas in the province” of Cabo Delgado, about 2,000 kilometres north of Maputo near the Tanzanian border.Source: Lusa