Insurgents killed at least 14 people in central Cabo Delgado province last weekend.
A woman who escaped with her daughter from the attack on Iba village on Friday afternoon, spoke to Zitamar from where she was hiding near Licangano village, saying: “We saw fires burning when we were coming down the mountain.”
She said, “these men are not kidding, they are very scary,” and how, “before there were not many, sometimes two, but now there are many.”
She was with some other escapees, one a boy who had been captured but “luckily” got away, and they were heading further north to Macomia.
Iba village is in Meluco district but near Macomia’s district border. Iba lies south, over two-hours away by foot, of the Macomia Catholic Mission on the outskirts of the Xinavane neighbourhood.
Insurgents stayed in Iba, killing at least six people, burning homes and looting until 10pm on Friday night, before moving onto Muaguide village, which is about a five-hour walk south where they started attacking in the early hours of Saturday.
Villagers there reported at least another eight deaths.
These attacks followed Thursday’s on Mitambo village and Nova Zambézia village on Wednesday. The insurgents beheaded at least one man in each attack.
Iba’s chief, who is seeking safety in Macomia’s district capital, called the situation very serious, Mediafax reported.
He also denounced Mozambican defence and security forces (FDS) for their lack of intervention and reaction, considering Iba village is only 13km away from where troops are stationed.
Four military vehicles with soldiers were seen driving north towards Chai village and then returning south on Friday afternoon, which was when Iba was under attack.
Many newly displaced people of all ages are arriving in Macomia.
The FDS are reportedly prohibiting people in the Xinavane neighbourhood from leaving the village to go and farm their fields.
A source who arrived at Macomia’s headquarters on Friday said “nobody felt calm,” and that they had left Vida Nova village, south of Nova Zambézia, on Thursday after “more than 20 men” were seen.
Drivers travelling along the road between the provincial capital Pemba and Macomia described village abandonments and great upheaval.
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.