Several villages were raided and burned over the weekend by insurgents moving west across Nangade, a district in northern Cabo Delgado that lies between Palma and Mocímboa da Praia to the east, and Mueda district to the west.
The attacks were thought to be carried out by two separate groups of insurgents, one moving from Chacamba to Rovuma, and the other from Litingina to Namatil. Chacamba and Litingina were the first to be attacked as the insurgents were passing through on Friday evening around sunset.
According to a local source, as many as 50 insurgents descended on Litingina at about 17:30 and killed six people. Meanwhile, further north in Chacamba, 7km from Nangade district headquarters, insurgents surrounded the village to prevent anyone from escaping, a source told Zitamar. The insurgents reportedly began firing when they saw two boys, who were unaware of what was happening, try to leave the village on motorbikes and believed they were fleeing. It is not yet known how many were injured.
On Saturday, after leaving Litingina, the insurgents were spotted 20km from Namatil in Mungano village, where a local man named Muamede was captured and another, called Munkuti, was beheaded, according to a source. The source added that forces from SAMIM, the Southern African Development Community’s military mission to Cabo Delgado, were allegedly nowhere to be seen.
On the same day at about 16:00, Ntamba Lagoa, also known as Armando Emílio Guebuza village, was raided. Insurgents were reported to have burned houses indiscriminately before fleeing with food, goats and other goods. Casualty figures are yet to be received.
Attacks continued on Sunday, with the burning of Muiha and Chicuaia Velha, 6km from each other. NASA FIRMS, a service which uses satellite imagery to monitor fires around the world, detected a dense cluster of fires over populated areas of these villages on Sunday night. Paulo Samuel Kankomba village was also reportedly attacked at the same time.
This group of insurgents was last seen heading northwest towards Niassa, alongside the Rovuma river. Their intended destination is not clear but it is possible they may attempt to cross into Tanzania.
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.