On May 31st, in the village of Awassy, militants exhibited a captured Mozambique military vehicle, in broad daylight.
Military #Insurgency in #CaboDelgado. #Islamist armed group exhibits the military vehicle of #Mozambique’s Forças de Defesa e Segurança during their stay in the vila sede de #Macomia District, 27th, May. Where are the #Mercenarios that Gov’t is using??? @TamukaKagoro77 @CDD_Moz pic.twitter.com/hwFBgDFGEi
— Prof. Adriano Nuvunga, Ph.D. (@adriano_nuvunga) May 31, 2020
On May 28th, in the province of Cabo Delgado ISIS militants attacked the town of Macomia.
At about 04.00, according to an anonymous military source cited by the newssheet, a group of about 90 attackers, divided into three, blocked the three main entrances to the town. Much of the local population fled into the bush, and there was an exchange of gunfire between the terrorists and the Mozambican defence and security forces.
The militants burned down homes and the local health center.
The raiders stole two vehicles, which they loaded with goods stolen from Macomia shops. So far it is not known how many people died in this attack, or how much of Macomia has fallen into terrorist hands.
Other reports said that government forces had success against the militants, making them suffer considerable losses.
Aftermath of the insurgent attacking Macomia pic.twitter.com/0v5AJZ0tOM
— Pinnacle News (@news_pinnacle) May 31, 2020
Air force support from private military companies arrived in Macomia from Pemba to repel the attackers but without troops on the ground it was difficult to control the situation, unnamed police source told AFP.
Clashes with militants had been going on for days in the area since then.
Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi said government forces had engaged in extensive fighting against insurgents after they attacked the town of Macomia in the gas-rich northern region.
Nyusi’s comments were the first time the government has acknowledged the attack on the town, which comes amid an Islamist insurgency in the province of Cabo Delgado that started in 2017 but has been gathering pace in recent months.
“The latest battles fought by the Defence and Security Forces were huge, they were very productive,” Nyusi was quoted as saying by Radio Mozambique and state broadcaster TVM.
“We have information that top cadres of this force have been killed,” he said, referring to the militants.
Nyusi also claimed that senior jihadists had been killed in the fighting.
“We have information that senior officers of this force have been slaughtered, which we can consider to be the leadership, but the Defence and Security Forces will confirm this at a proper moment,” President Nyusi said. “We are learning how to deal with that force and we are encouraging the Defence and Security Forces to fight them.”
Luiz Fernando Lisboa, the Bishop of Pemba, said hundreds of people had arrived in the city from Macomia in recent days. He has previously said around 200,000 people have fled to the city to escape the violence.
The jihadists have grown bolder over the past two months, stepping up attacks by destroying more important infrastructure such as government headquarters buildings, bank branches, and looting money. They have now ventured into towns as part of a declared campaign to establish an Islamist caliphate.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- ISIS Killed Two Troops, Seized Their Vehicle In Mozambique (Photo)
- In Less Than A Year, ISIS In Mozambique Has Gone Entirely Out Of Control