Insurgents ambushed a minibus on the road just north of Mocímboa da Praía on Saturday, killing at least the driver and injuring others as the government continues to encourage displaced people to return to the area.
Local sources report that around midday, insurgents held up a minibus travelling on the N762 road near the village of N’jama, around 10km north of Mocímboa da Praia, and killed the driver. One source says the attackers may have killed as many as three people and injured four more, one of whom is in serious condition.
A photo seen by Zitamar shows a burnt out vehicle that was reportedly the minibus that was attacked.
The Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF) deployed to the area following the attack and cleared the surrounding villages.
The attack comes less than three weeks after the arrival of the first 123 displaced civilians to be officially returned to Mocímboa da Praia, as the government deemed the area safe enough to sustainably restore the population. Displaced people have reported feeling apprehensive about the return in light of recent attacks on the Palma-Mocímboa da Praia road and across other districts of Cabo Delgado, namely Ancuabe, Chiúre, Nangade and Macomia.
A source involved in the resettlement reported that Mozambicans working with Total were using the road on the day of the attack to coordinate the return of people from the Qitunda displacement village to Mocímboa da Praia as Total is expecting to move up to 1000 people per week. Following the attack on Saturday, those workers were flown back from Mocímboa da Praia to Afungi. Displaced people continue to be escorted by car along the N762 road by the RDF.