An unknown armed group yesterday beheaded two people in Ancuabe district and threatened the population of the area that has been the scene of new attacks in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique since June, local sources reported.
The victims were two young men who were carrying out agricultural work together with a woman.
The survivor was coerced by the aggressors to take the victims’ heads to the village (Muaja) as a warning, the same sources in the community described, which includes a relative of one of the murdered men.
The group that attacked the residents was hooded and threatened to enter the village of Muaja.
The situation meant that the village was “completely abandoned”, said one of the sources from Nanhupo, the town to which he fled, in the district of Montepuez.
The population and local authorities suspect that the group is part of the insurgent movement that has terrorized the region since October 2017.
A military offensive with the support of several African countries has liberated the areas around the gas projects in northern Cabo Delgado for a year, but scattered groups have attacked other parts of the province.
Since June, violence has hit the Ancuabe area and surrounding areas.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned last week of the seriousness of these new attacks, causing 36,000 displaced people in districts until now considered safe.
One of the most recent attacks “occurred 35 kilometers from Pemba”, the capital of the Mozambican province, with an airport that connects it to the rest of the world, a base for humanitarian aid and one of the main refuges for thousands of displaced people.
“UNHCR is especially concerned about the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable among the displaced, including women and children,” he stressed, adding that the armed groups attacked near roads “regularly used by humanitarian organizations, including UNHCR, to missions to Ancuabe, Chiúre and Montepuez”.