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Mozambique Militants Seize Key Town Close To $60 Billion-Dollar Gas Projects Development Site

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Mozambique Militants Seize Key Town Close To $60 Billion-Dollar Gas Projects Development Site

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UPDATE: ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack via its news agency Amaq. The situation in the town remains tense. According to reports, militants seized a bank, captured several vehicles and boats.

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Islamist militants have seized control of a key town in northern Mozambique. Mocimboa de Praia is located in the Cabo Delgado region, close to the site where foreign companies are working on a $60bn natural gas project.

In 2010, Mozambique discovered large gas reserves in Rovuma Basin, off the Indian Ocean coast of Cabo Delgado. In October 2019, ExxonMobil unveiled plans to invest more than $500m in the initial construction phase of its gas project in the region.

Mocimboa de Praia is strategically important to the project. Until recently it was the location of the main airport for workers traveling to the site, before a landing strip was built at Afungi itself. The port of Mocimboa de Praia is also used for some cargo deliveries.

The attack started on March 23. About 200 militants encircled the town and seized a military base and police units. Dozens people were wounded and the army barraks became the main strong point of the attackers. Police said that the army and police launched a counter-offensive. Since then, clashes have been ongoing.

This was the first time Mozambican militants attacked a major town. They usually attack villages and farms. Furthermore, it remains unclear what group stands behind the attack.

A number of smaller attacks in the region were claimed by a group known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama. More recently, the Islamic State has claimed a number of attacks. Locals claim that the militants in Mocimboa de Praia are from al-Shabab (this group is different to that active in Somalia despite the same name).

The place of the attack and its scale are likely linked with the gas project developing in the region. Most likely, militants seek to get money from foreign companies for the halt of attacks on the infrastructure, which they use.

Mozambique Militants Seize Key Town Close To $60 Billion-Dollar Gas Projects Development Site

Click to see the full-size image

Mozambique Militants Seize Key Town Close To $60 Billion-Dollar Gas Projects Development Site

Click to see the full-size image

Mozambique Militants Seize Key Town Close To $60 Billion-Dollar Gas Projects Development Site

Click to see the full-size image

Mozambique Militants Seize Key Town Close To $60 Billion-Dollar Gas Projects Development Site

Click to see the full-size image

Mozambique Militants Seize Key Town Close To $60 Billion-Dollar Gas Projects Development Site

Click to see the full-size image

Mozambique Militants Seize Key Town Close To $60 Billion-Dollar Gas Projects Development Site

Click to see the full-size image

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  • Swift Laggard II

    Africa please do not let these militants take root. They will be used by external forces to destabilize your continent. Some will be turned into ‘moderate rebels’ depending on the need

    • Albert Pike

      Where is AfriCom, there are ISIS/URraHell mercenaries. They are following the ‘Rumsfeld-Cebrowski Doctrin’, create the problem, and then make them dependent, that you fix the problem. Workes in Nigeria, so they will try the same in Moz…

    • goingbrokes

      My wish as well, but unfortunately the groundwork for this destabilisation has been done years ago ever since Obama managed to expand Africom bases to most African countries.

  • Garga

    Is it a Chinese investment by any chance, like Rakhine state of Myanmar, the Rohingya crisis?

    Strange for a country with less than %20 Sunni Muslim population that they gained such fire power. I just hope their government’s response is not similar to that of Nigeria. Every time ISIS, Wahhabi and Sunni extremists attack somewhere and kill people, Nigerian police and army starts yet another massacre of it’s Shi’as and completely ignores the attackers.

    • rightiswrong rightiswrong

      The photo’s show Esso stations, US corporation. The article states they sunk a half a billion dollars into this.

      What you are implying certainly has precedence, the US are well versed in economics and terrorism, but maybe those tactics are being used against them now.

    • J Roderet

      Mozambique is also led by a national-revolutionary government that has had long-term friendly relations with Russia (and previously, the USSR). Washington has been trying to undermine and overthrow the FRELIMO government for decades. No surprise at all that the “ISIS” death cult has suddenly appeared there…

      • Jonathan Cohen

        With their ABORTION RIGHTS!!!! Mozambique is a fundamentally new outrage, without precedent in abortion banning Syria, Libya, Iran, Gaza or Venezuela. This is an outrage against ABORTION RIGHTS! not seen since Ukraine, Serbia and Cuba!!!!!

  • JustPassingThrough

    US oil and gas group Anadarko Petroleum has given the green light
    to a gas project that will not only transform Mozambique’s economy but
    have spin-offs for SA business worth at least R7.2bn.

    oh my 😫

  • In Exile

    RENAMO came out of moth balls?

    • John Wallace

      They were trained in Rhodesia at an air base near Odzi called Grand Reef until Mugabe took over and they were moved to Sth Africa. Saw truck loads of them being picked up at Melsetter one day . That war was supported to upset ZANU and reduce their flow into Rhodesia . The Mozambique war ended ages ago so it will be their babies that are the new RENAMO . If true that ISIS are involved then they will quickly spread to Zimbabwe and Sth Africa who are both ripe for it. Not many Muslims so will have to use some other method.

      • John Wallace

        Got a problem with my comment styx then say why instead of being a weak gutless piece of shit. Oh yes I WAS in Rhodesia for 5 years before Mugabe. Want to try me.
        I thought you blocked me so you couldn’t see what I write. Proved you wrong.
        Styx I have no idea what your problem is but I don’t give a fuck about your deluded passion . Next time you shove a dildo full of wasps for the vibrations up your arse remember not to drill holes in the side so they can stick their tails out. Home a nice day twat.

  • Vitex

    A proxy army near an oil field? Well I never.