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Five girls arrive in Macomia after being freed by starving insurgents

Five teenage girls who had been in captivity for almost three years arrived last week in Macomia after being released by insurgents who are running out of food

Five teenage girls who had been in captivity for almost three years arrived last week in Macomia town following their release two weeks ago by the insurgents from bases located in the Messalo River region.

According to a source in the town of Macomia, which the girls reached after walking for a week, they said they had been allowed to leave by insurgents who told all their captives that anyone who wanted to return home could do so, as they were facing logistical problems, including food shortages.

The girls’ had been tasked with cooking for the insurgents and transporting looted food from one base to another, the source told Zitamar News. The girls told him they had been kidnapped in different terrorist raids in Macomia and Mocímboa da Praia districts, and had stayed in bases set up under leafy trees in the lowlands or near the Messalo River.

Another source in Macomia said they revealed that the huts they were staying in were constructed of zinc sheets, and later covered with leaves and grass to avoid being identified by military helicopters that have been bombing suspected terrorist hideouts.

The insurgent leaders are Mozambicans and some are natives of Macomia district, the girls said.

Last week state-owned broadcaster TVM showed a report of a girl who also said she had been released by the terrorists because of hunger they are facing.  She said she was the spouse of one of the terrorists, having been kidnapped while pregnant a year ago in Naquitengue, Mocimboa da Praia district.

This article was produced by Zitamar and Mediafax under the Cabo Ligado project, in collaboration with ACLED. The contents of the article are the sole responsibility of Zitamar News.