IS Attacks in Mozambique with People Beheaded and Children Kidnapped

 AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - After attacks on villages in the north of the country: 40 refugees die in a boat 

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Maputo (Agenzia Fides) - On the morning of October 31st, Islamist terrorists affiliated to the Central African Province of the Islamic State (ISCAP) carried out several attacks on some villages in the Muidumbe district of Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique: Nchinga, Namacunde, 24 de Março, Muatide and Muambula. Eyewitnesses report that a total of 20 people, including 15 teenagers, were beheaded in the village of 24 de Março, while the attackers kidnapped an unknown number of children from Nchinga.

The raids also have the purpose of forcibly recruiting young people from the villages to fight in the ranks of the jihadists in the future. In April, also in the Muidumbe district, terrorists had beheaded 52 civilians for refusing to join them. In addition to setting fire to several homes, the jihadists probably sabotaged the communications infrastructure, as cellular communications with Muidumbe was partially interrupted after the attack.

The latest raids could be in retaliation for the military offensive by the Defense and Security Forces early last week against a major terrorist position, the so-called "Syria Base" in the Mocimboa da Praia district. According to the Mozambican security forces, a total of 108 terrorists were killed in the operations. Jihadist violence in Cabo Delgado province jeopardized the 2020-2021 harvest as thousands of farmers fled terrorist attacks. The harvest has already been affected by floods and the spread of harmful insects. It is estimated that at least 400,000 residents have fled the province. On Sunday 1 November at least 40 people died when the boat carrying 74 people fleeing the violence sank between the islands of Ibo and Matemo, just north of the provincial capital of Pemba.

Meanwhile, terrorists based in northern Mozambique have crossed the Ruvuma River on the border between Tanzania and Mozambique, to hit some villages in Tanzania. According to the Tanzanian police, more than 300 heavily armed terrorists believed to be affiliated with ISCAP raided the village of Kitaya, on the banks of the Ruvuma River, where they destroyed homes and killed more than 20 people.

Security sources suspect that the terrorists want to recruit young people in the coastal regions, especially in Pwani, Tanga and Mtwara, whose residents are confronted with social, economic and political grievances. The jihadists use the dissatisfaction of unemployed young people to recruit new fighters. (L.M.) (FULL TEXT Source: Agenzia Fides, 4/11/2020)