Criminals posing as terrorists looting villages in Cabo Delgado-police


Maputo (AIM-New Ziana) –Some criminals are posing as terrorists to scare away the population and loot villages in Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique, the local police has said.

“There are opportunistic individuals who pretend to be terrorists and set fire to houses to scare people away so they can steal,” said provincial police commander Vicente Chicote.

The most recent case took place last Sunday, in the attack on a village in Ancuabe, whose population was forced to flee.

Some residents who stayed behind apprehended a young man from a family in the village, and recognised four others who fled.

“We have been witnessing some acts of indiscipline that are not compatible with the behaviour of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique,” Chicote said.

A large field of natural gas was discovered in the Rovuma Basin of Cabo Delgado province, but armed gangs have terrorized the area since 2017, preventing the exploration and extraction of the resource.

Some of the attacks, in which innocent civilians are sometimes beheaded, have been claimed by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

The insurgency led to a military intervention last year by Rwandan and Southern African Development Community (SADC) forces, liberating districts next to the gas projects, but leading to a new wave of attacks in other areas.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) about 4 000 people have died from the conflict while at least 800 000 have been internally displaced.

AIM-New Ziana

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