Mozambican police arrest fake guerrillas hijacking vehicles
File photo / Lusa
The General Command of the Mozambican police confirmed on Tuesday that a group of women and children held captive by islamist insurgents in the northern province of Cabo Delgado have escaped and presented themselves to the police.
The escape was first reported on Monday by the electronic paper “Lupa News”, which said the group consisted of three women and three children.
The spokesperson for the General Command, Inacio Dina, confirmed that the group had made its way to a police station. “What happened was that some women and children went to the police authorities, and said they had come from a place where they were being held by some individuals who wanted to create instability”, he explained. “We are investigating”.
The police would check out the truth of the women’s story, Dina said. He hoped it would provide a clue to the whereabouts “of the individuals who want to undertake some malicious acts”.
The women had found shelter with the police and were cooperating. They said they were being held at a camp in Mocimboa da Praia district, and had been taken there by their husbands, who promised them a better life.
The “Lupa News” story said they were taken to the bush camp at night, and that their captors confiscated their cell phones so that they could not contact the outside world.
Dina claimed that the police have the situation in the province under control. He insisted that “the levels of security in Cabo Delgado are very high, and activities to consolidate this level of security are under way”.
As usual with police statements on the Cabo Delgado situation, Dina did not mention the word islamist, much less the Arabic names of the jihadist group (Al-Suna or Al-Shabaab).
Mocimboa da Praia is the district most affected by islamist activity. The group launched its insurrection on 5 October last year, attacking three police units and briefly taking control of Mocimboa da Praia town. Although police quickly re-established control of the town, over the subsequent six months there have been sporadic ambushes on roads in Mocimboa da Praia, and against villages in the district.
The attacks have also occasionally spilled over into the neighbouring districts of Palma and Nangade.Source: AIM