At least two members of Mozambique’s Defence and Security Forces (FDS) have been killed in two insurgent attacks on a military position in the village of Nova Zambézia, Macomia, in the last week.
A local source told Zitamar that the first attack began on the night of Sunday 6 March and resulted in the decapitation of an FDS member. According to the source, the victim was a military commander although this claim has not been substantiated. Zitamar’s partner publication MediaFax has contacted the FDS for comment.
On Tuesday 8 March, Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the killing, via social media channels. IS boasted of attacking the barracks in Nova Zambézia with automatic weapons. The post included a picture of a body which appeared to have been mutilated but not decapitated. A picture was also attached of a military ID badge suggesting the victim was a soldier who had joined the army in April 2021.
Several photos were also included of burning buildings and a collection of military equipment, including automatic weapons, ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades, allegedly captured after the raid.
On Wednesday, 9 March, IS claimed to have attacked Nova Zambézia again on Tuesday. The post on social media again included pictures of a dead soldier, who had apparently been shot in the chest, and another cache of weapons consisting of more assault rifles, ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades. A source confirmed to Zitamar that security forces in Nova Zambézia were attacked on Tuesday and said at least five were killed, one soldier and four civilians. Another source said a female member of the local militia was among the victims.
The latest attacks resembled one on 23 February in the village of Quinto Congresso, just 7km from Nova Zambezia, which saw a police officer’s body dismembered and beheaded. IS also claimed responsibility for attacks on the villages of Litmanda and Chai on 24 February that reportedly killed and wounded several people, but this has not been verified. However, local sources confirmed to Zitamar that insurgents visited these villages on three occasions that week and threatened to kill residents if they did not leave. Another source told Zitamar that there is no longer anyone living in Litamanda and Chai.
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.