Ambush on cargo truck with passengers leaves 16 dead in Cabo Delgado

Ambush on cargo truck with passengers leaves 16 dead in Cabo Delgado

An ambush to a freight car transporting passengers in northern Mozambique killed 16 people on Tuesday, in one of the bloodiest attacks in the wave of violence that plagues the region, local sources told Lusa today.

The open car transported several people and goods from Mucojo to Quiterajo, during the afternoon, on a dirt road along the coast in Cabo Delgado, Macomia district.

The trip was interrupted near the destination when the vehicle was ambushed by armed men who began to shoot.

According to reports from local sources, residents and authorities, some people fled, but eight - including three soldiers - died in the area, burned, after the attackers set fire to the car.

Another seven were helped by nearby communities, but eventually died, several with gunshot wounds.

One of the passenger's bodies was found nearby, with signs of having been shot. It is thought he might have attempted to flee, but could not resist the wounds.

The eight people who died burned in the car were eventually buried on site due to lack of access, added the same sources.

The district of Macomia has been one of the most affected by the armed attacks carried out by groups created in the mosques of the region and that hatched in Mocímboa da Praia, in October, 2017.

Cabo Delgado is the province where the mega-projects of natural gas exploration are advancing and where attacks have killed at least 200 people.

Public observers from the Mozambican NGO's Center of Public Integrity (CIP) reported 13 attacks in May, with 25 deaths, dozens of injured, hundreds of houses burned and many villages abandoned.

The members of the CIP accompanied the electoral census, which ran from April 15 to Thursday, and the attack numbers do not yet include the deaths reported on Tuesday in Quiterajo.