A group of up to 20 insurgents launched an attack on the village of Olumbe in Palma district last week — the first recorded attack in the district since November 2021. All were killed in a standoff with security forces, but three Mozambican soldiers were also beheaded, local sources told Zitamar.
The insurgents are said to have arrived in the administrative post of Olumbe, approximately 20km south of Palma town, at around 17:00 on 6 May and told civilians to leave before looting the area for supplies, especially food. One source told Zitamar that three members of the Mozambican Defence and Security Forces (FDS) were beheaded, suggesting that there was already a military presence in the village when the insurgents arrived.
Joint security forces, consisting of the Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) and FDS, arrived on Saturday and engaged the insurgents, killing them all. The beheaded bodies were discovered and taken to a morgue in Pemba on Monday.
Security in Palma district has been the responsibility of the joint force since the arrival of the RDF in Mozambique in July 2021, which has been broadly successful in putting down the insurgency in Palma and Mocímboa da Praia districts.
Until last week, there had not been a recorded attack in Palma for six months and insurgents were officially driven out of Palma at the beginning of February, according to a statement from the Mozambican Ministry of Defence. Ever since, the vast majority of insurgent attacks have been concentrated in Nangade, Mueda and Macomia.
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.