Islamic State-backed insurgents have killed at least three civilians in a wave of attacks in Cabo Delgado province following IS’ announcement of a new global military campaign on Wednesday.
The first attack took place on Wednesday in Ntotwe village in Mocímboa da Praia district, where insurgents killed a young boy and an old man and burned several houses, according to local sources. IS claimed to have killed three people in a statement. Ntotwe is approximately 20km from Mocímboa da Praia town.
The next day, insurgents raided Chai village in Macomia district, killing one civilian and burning several homes and market stalls, for which IS claimed responsibility.
IS also claimed to have attacked two boats of the Mozambican Armed Defense Forces near the Quilhanhune Island, off the coast of Mocímboa da Praia, injuring one, as part of the “‘kill them wherever you find them’ campaign”.
This campaign, pledging to intensify attacks across the world, was declared on 4 January via an audio message from the IS official spokesperson, Abu Hudhayfah al-Ansari, following suicide bombings in Iran on Wednesday by the IS Afghan affiliate, which killed at least 84 people.
Despite confirmed cases of political violence in Cabo Delgado falling by 70% between 2022 and 2023, according to data from conflict observatory ACLED, insurgent activity has escalated in recent weeks. On 26 December, insurgents killed 13 soldiers in simultaneous attacks on military positions in Mucojo and Pangane in Macomia district.