Maputo – A Tanzanian jihadist leader responsible for audacious attacks in northern Mozambique has been killed, police announced on Monday.
Tuahil Muhidim led a 2020 attack that captured Mocimboa da Praia, the northern port used to receive cargo for multi-billion-dollar gas projects in the region.
Police general commander Bernardino Rafael said on national radio that Mozambican and Rwandan forces shot dead Muhidim on Saturday morning.
Muhidim was also accused of kidnapping two Brazilian nuns for more than three weeks in 2020. Rafael said Muhidim had “punished” the nuns.
“Tuahil Muhidim died at 10:30 am (0830 GMT) Saturday. He had been wanted by security forces,” Rafael said.
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“He directed the attack on Mocimboa da Praia. He also kidnapped those two Brazilian nuns.”
In the same operation, security forces shot dead another insurgent and recovered two guns, he added.
“Security forces operations are having an effect. The terrorists are weakened,” he said, claiming that seven insurgent leaders have been killed in the last two months.
The insurgency erupted in northern Mozambique, near the Tanzanian border, with attacks marked by beheadings and the torching of entire villages.
Since then, 3 500 people have been killed, and 820 000 have fled their homes.
Rwanda and the 16-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) sent in some 3,000 troops about six months ago to help Mozambique quell the unrest.