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Mozambican navy opens fire on civilian boat near Ibo

Several people were injured after the navy opened fire on a boat off the coast of Quissanga, Cabo Delgado province

The Mozambican Armed Defence Forces (FADM) opened fire yesterday on a civilian vessel suspected to be carrying Islamic State-backed insurgents on the strait between Ibo island and the coast of Quissanga district in Cabo Delgado province, local sources told Zitamar News.

Insurgents have occupied Quissanga district headquarters since 2 March and the nearby island of Quirimba since 3 March, leading authorities to impose a ban on all fishing in the area for security reasons. 

The boat left Quirimba island yesterday and was fired on by a Mozambican navy boat near Ibo. It is unclear if those on the boat were trying to fish in defiance of the ban or if they were being used by insurgents to ferry supplies.

Insurgents on the shore of Quissanga, watching the incident, shot at the navy boat with rockets and mortars, forcing it to withdraw, one local source reported.

Several civilians on the boat were injured and insurgents took an ambulance to treat their wounds at the coastal village of Tandanhangue, approximately 5km from Quissanga town, according to local sources. Tandanhangue has a pier and is likely to be where insurgents have been loading and unloading supplies.

In February, Mozambican marines were accused of indiscriminately killing and capturing civilians along the Macomia district coast.

In recent days, insurgents have systematically looted the homes and shops in Quissanga town and Quirimba island, and have taken goods back to Mucojo on the Macomia coast. 

FADM did not respond to a request for comment.