Mozambique: Second abduction in a week in central Maputo - Watch
File photo: Noticias
After Mocímboa da Praia and Quissanga, the terrorists of Cabo Delgado on Thursday occupied the headquarters town of Macomia district, one of the districts most affected by the group’s incursions since their operations began on 5 October 2017.
According to ‘Carta’ sources, the occupation of Macomia, which is located 200 km from the city of Pemba, started at around 1:00 a.m.. Upon their arrival, the sources say, the group fired into the air, which residents thought was the customary Defence and Security Forces (FDS) barrage.
However, at 4:00 a.m., the scenario changed. A ‘battalion’ of members of the group invaded the town, blocking the three exits. A military source told our reporter that the group comprised more than 90 members, divided into the three groups, plus reinforcements from Mocímboa da Praia, where the group’s main base is believed to be located.
According to sources, after the occupation, the group headed towards the district government headquarters. ‘Carta’ has been told that the population managed to take refuge in the woods shortly before the exchange of fire between the group and the FDS began. A passenger transport vehicle leaving Macomia for Pemba was caught in the crossfire, though without casualties. Sources claim that the ambush took place near an FDS position, which suggests that the insurgents must have occupied the space before the village entrances.
Military sources however say the FDS evacuated part of the population on the basis of information that the terrorists would attack Macomia, and that some members of the group had told their relatives to leave.
Three hours later, at 7:00 a.m., sources say, two helicopters began to circulate, before starting to shell, and were joined in the early afternoon by two more. The shelling, however, targeted locations where citizens were located.
Military sources also say that a large part of the group was already infiltrated within the population, facilitating the group’s actions in the village headquarters. The FDS offensive was supported by the South African mercenary Dyck Advisory Group (DAG).
According to the sources, the incursion of the insurgents affected Macomia’s Xinavane (A and B), Central, Nbebede, Changane, Napulubo, Nanga (A and B), Ceta, Expansão, Machova , Namiguiri, Muagamula, Licangano and Bangala 1 neighbourhoods. The sources also say that the ‘terrorists’ appeared in Litamanda, Chai, V Congresso, Nova Zambézia, Nova Vida and Paz villages.
Facts about the results of the occupation of Macomia are still scarce. All that is so far known is that the group set fire to homes and the Macomia Health Centre, hoisted the Islamic State flag at Suki Station, performed prayers at a local mosque, and commandeered two vehicles to take away goods looted from commercial establishments.
There is no precise information on the number of fatalities among civilians, the insurgent group or the FDS.
“Carta” had the information that the districts of the northern part of the province had a blackout last night, however, it was not able to ascertain whether or not the lack of electricity was due to a possible sabotage of the Macomia Substation.
According to the sources, the combat operation counted on the participation of some local leaders, as a way to help in the identification of some elements that, in the last attacks, ended up showing their faces, besides having guided rallies.
Meanwhile, the Islamic State published, through social media, a video in Ki-Swahili language, in which terrorists appear being transported in a military vehicle of the FDS. The video, with the title Imesimama, which, in Portuguese, means “to stop”, “to leave” or “to prevent”, is accompanied by a song of more than 5 minutes, in which the group guarantees: “the FDS will not be able to stop us ”and that“ we will not retreat on all fronts ”, so“ we won in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Congo and we are fighting in Somalia and Mozambique ”.
The video referenced cannot be seen as official and at best for now a fanboy at play. If this video is published today via semi-official Amaq, we can start arguing IS recognition. An ISCAP claim is coming without a doubthttps://t.co/VPuipjeZaz
— Jasmine Opperman (@Jasminechic00) May 29, 2020
It should be noted that, last Wednesday, the Minister of the Interior, Amade Miquidade, recognised in the Assembly of the Republic that the security situation in Cabo Delgado “remains complex, due to the adoption of guerrilla, flagellation and flight by terrorist groups and the use of civilian populations as human shields ”.
It should be noted that, in Miangalewa, Muidumbe district, 15 bodies were found in the last few days, but their origin is unknown.
By Omardine Omar and Newsroom