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Disguised insurgents kill four in attack on Macomia district headquarters

Insurgents dressed in Mozambican military uniforms killed at least four people in Macomia town on Sunday before withdrawing into the bush

Insurgents dressed in Mozambican Armed Defence Forces (FADM) uniform infiltrated Macomia district headquarters on Sunday afternoon and killed at least four people before withdrawing into the bush.

The insurgents arrived in the Napulubo neighbourhood of Macomia at around 3pm, posing as Mozambican soldiers and attended prayers with the community, local reports claimed. At about 8pm, the insurgents opened fire. At least four people were shot dead and up to 15 were wounded.

Two motorbikes, two minibuses and some houses were also torched. Pictures of the two burnt minibuses have circulated on social media.

The insurgents withdrew at around midnight, sources reported.

As the attackers were dressed in FADM uniform, there was some confusion as to who was responsible, with rumours spreading initially that drunken soldiers were the culprits. Multiple reports now confirm insurgents were behind the attack.

One local source told Zitamar that a woman was kidnapped in the attack but returned to Macomia on Tuesday. The Rwandan Defence Force took her in a helicopter to identify the location where she was released. The source claimed insurgents burnt a vehicle that he had been using to transport displaced people back home.

It is rare for insurgents to attack district headquarters. Macomia town was last attacked in May 2020 when 90-120 insurgents launched an assault that briefly captured the town from security forces.