An insurgent assault on Mozambican armed forces (FADM) positions around Mandava in the Muidumbe district of Cabo Delgado province on Saturday has killed at least five soldiers and wounded several more.
The attack began in the morning and continued until the afternoon. Details are still scarce but local sources told Zitamar the fighting was intense and a helicopter was called to evacuate casualties and bring reinforcements. Initial estimates of fatalities range between five and seven with potentially over a dozen wounded. Casualties were brought to Pemba for treatment.
A party of FADM and Local Forces on patrol around Mandava three days before had discovered an insurgent camp near the Messalo river where fighters were building huts and planting corn.
The Mandava attack came two weeks after the assault on Miangalewa, approximately 30km to the east. These incidents suggest that the government-led Vulcão IV operation in January was not entirely successful in its goal of driving insurgents out of the Messalo river basin.
Meanwhile, insurgent groups along the coast of Macomia and Mocímboa da Praia are continuing to pursue ‘hearts and minds’ by trading with local communities.