Ibn Omar, one of the most senior commanders of the insurgency in Cabo Delgado province, was killed in a clash in Macomia district on Tuesday, according to a statement issued today by Admiral Joaquim Mangrasse, chief of the general staff of the Mozambican Defence Armed Forces (FADM).
The statement delivered at the Maringanha naval base in Pemba claims Ibn Omar, also known as Bonomade Machude Omar, participated in an ambush on a FADM convoy near Quiterajo on Tuesday, and subsequent investigation determined that he was one of the insurgents killed in the attack. A picture of a dead body purported to be Ibn Omar was shared on social media by journalist Brito Simango of state broadcaster TVM, but the identity has not yet been independently verified.
Two other insurgents were also killed in the ambush but they have not yet been identified, the statement said.
The announcement of Ibn Omar’s death follows another statement issued by the Mozambican Ministry of Defence on Wednesday claiming FADM had eliminated two other insurgent leaders named Abu Kital and Ali Mahando. Today’s statement clarifies that Abu Kital was killed in the insurgent attack on a FADM base in the Catupa forest of Macomia on 8 August. Seven Mozambican soldiers were killed in the same incident, according to Islamic State (IS).
In the ambush on Tuesday, up to nine Mozambican soldiers were killed after their convoy came under RPG and small arms fire, immobilising an armoured personnel carrier. The soldiers were participating in Operation Golpe II to destroy insurgent bases in the coastal zone of Macomia. Major General Tiago Nampelo, head of the army command, was travelling in the convoy but escaped unharmed.
Ibn Omar was believed to be the primary leader of IS Mozambique. Born in Palma and raised in Mocímboa da Praia in northern Cabo Delgado, he first came to prominence in March 2020 when he appeared in a viral video delivering a speech in Muidumbe district condemning the government for “humiliating the poor”.
Known for his brutality, the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Mozambique reported that Ibn Omar was summoned to a meeting of IS leaders in the summer of 2022 and was told to stop killing so many people and start charging taxes.
This article was produced by Zitamar News under the Cabo Ligado project, in collaboration with Mediafax and ACLED. The contents of the article are the sole responsibility of Zitamar News.