Maputo – Mozambican soldiers backed by regional forces stormed a rebel base and shot dead 10 insurgents in the country’s deeply troubled north, the defence minister said.
The incident, which took place on Sunday, follows several attacks in the last two weeks by jihadists in villages in the Macomia district of the gas-rich Cabo Delgado province.
The area has been rocked by attacks by Islamic State-linked militants since 2017, killing at least 3,300 people and displacing more than 800 000 others.
But since July, more than 3 100 African, European and US soldiers have been deployed to the northern province to quell the unrest.
“Yesterday, our forces and (southern African regional troops) attacked a terrorist base in Macomia and shot down 10 terrorists,” Defence Minister Cristovao Chume said late Monday.
“The situation is worrying”, he said. “Our forces are on the ground. And in the coming weeks we will have positive results”.
President Filipe Nyusi said last week his country had witnessed fewer jihadist attacks this year than last, after Rwanda and neighbouring countries helped tackle the four-year insurgency.
“We were able to reduce terrorist attacks by three times,” he said.
While in 2020 the country registered just over 160 attacks, that number was reduced to 52 in 2021, he said.
He said it was thanks in part to “military cooperation” with Rwanda and the 16-nation Southern African Development Community of its neighbouring countries.
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