Three members of Mozambique’s defence and security forces (FDS) have been killed in an apparent insurgent attack that happened around 5pm on Tuesday in Nangade district, northern Cabo Delgado.
The attack took place in the village of Mandimba, where there is an FDS position, deployed to fight the insurgency in the province. Two died on the scene, while a third died in the Nangade district hospital on Thursday after being injured in the attack, a local source said.
Several sources in Nangade town confirmed that heavy gunfire could be heard in the Mandimba area, at least 40km from Nangade town, late afternoon on Tuesday.
"Yes there was an attack, and there are reports of two military personnel who died,” a street trader in Nangade told Zitamar News.
In addition to the two confirmed dead, more missing military personnel are missing and others are wounded, and were transferred to the Mueda District Hospital.
"On Tuesday they [insurgents] entered and attacked Mandimba, and two military personnel died,” another Nangade resident said, saying he had confirmed the information with a local police officer. “There are also many wounded servicemen, I do not know the number, but they were taken to Mueda," he said. A source in Nangade said on Thursday that they had since been transferred to the Nangade district hospital.
Another source put the number of wounded at five, and confirmed that two had died.
The attack comes as Mozambican defence minister Cristóvão Chume claimed, in an interview published by the Chatham House think tank in London on Wednesday, that the situation in Nangade is “much more positive”, with the population still living in their homes in that district. The general situation in Cabo Delgado, the minister said, is calm.
In fact, many of the villages of Nangade are now empty of civilians, including Mandimba. Many villagers have fled to live in the relative safety of Nangade town.
The military position at Mandimba was reported to be well-manned, and the Mozambican forces are supported in Nangade district by troops from the SADC mission.