An insurgent thrust south through the Chiure district of Cabo Delgado province has left at least three people dead in the last week, with insurgents now poised to potentially cross the Lúrio river into Nampula province.
Following the attack on the Gemrock ruby mine on the Ancuabe-Montepuez district border on 20 October, insurgents moved approximately 30km south through the bush until they arrived at the village of Messanja, near Katapua in Chiure district two days later. There, insurgents beheaded two men working in the fields. A woman brought the severed heads into the village in a plastic basin, saying the victims were her husband and brother-in-law, a local source told Zitamar. A video of the basin containing the heads has circulated on social media.
On 26 October, insurgents attacked the village of Bilibiza in Chiure, about 20km further south, beheading one person, a security consultant reported. Insurgents struck again the next morning in Savamone, another 25km south, on the north bank of the Lúrio river. No casualties have yet been reported.
The insurgent group is now well positioned to cross the Lurio into the Eráti district of Nampula province. Insurgents previously launched an incursion into Nampula in September this year, killing a total of 18 people in a rampage through Eráti and Memba districts, which included an attack on a Catholic mission where an Italian nun was shot and killed.
Savamone is also only a few kilometres from the border of the Namuno district of Cabo Delgado which has so far been untouched by the conflict since it began in October 2017.