At least 14 fighters of the local militia known as ‘Naparama’ were killed in a clash with insurgents around the village of Iba in Meluco district on Tuesday. Four insurgents were also killed.
Few details of the clash have emerged but local sources told Zitamar that there was a confrontation between the insurgents and Naparama in the forests outside Iba, close to the border with Macomia district, which resulted in the deaths of up to 15 Naparama and four insurgents. Islamic State (IS) claimed to have killed at least 14.
Pictures of the aftermath of the attack were splashed on the front page of the IS newspaper Al Naba, published on Thursday. The photos depict the bodies of the Naparama, wearing their distinctive red bandanas, piled on top of each other, punctured with bullet wounds.
Other photos show two of the Naparama being beheaded, apparently while still alive.
The Naparama traditionally do not carry guns into battle, and believe a potion makes them impervious to bullets. However, photos released by IS show an apparent haul of rifles taken in the clash.
The next day, insurgents ambushed two vans and a minibus on the N380 highway connecting Macomia town to the junction at Silva Macua, killing up to seven, including a nurse, and injuring seven others. The vehicles were left burned on the road.