from ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – MOZAMBICAN security forces have reportedly killed over 100 civilians this month during operations against a rebel group north of the country.
In one incident early August, independent estimates put government fatalities have been between 60 and 90, with over 100 wounded and up to 40 still missing in the battle for Mocímboa da Praia.
Islamist groups ISIL (ISIS) Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have taken over the town, which is in the Cabo Delgado province.
“The numbers remain difficult to verify, given the government’s reticence to share casualty counts,” the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) stated.
The organisation also reported that on August 13, government troops intercepted and sank a boat carrying refugees to Nhongue island from Nkomangano, also in Mocimboa da Praia.
The refugees had reportedly identified themselves to but the government patrol ship allegedly fired on them anyway.
Over 40 civilians reportedly lost their lives in the incident.
Members of security forces also reportedly raped two women in Macomia during the weekend of August 15-16.
Last Friday, the bodies of a 50-year-old woman and her 12-year-old granddaughter were discovered in Nawamba, on the outskirts of Macomia town.
The two were living as refugees having been displaced from their home by the violence.
The identity of their killers is unknown.
Northern Mozambique is the epicentre of terror attacks by Islamist groups.
It is believed the terrorists want to establish an Islamic state.
Another school of thought suggests the militants are against the presence of foreign companies in the region that is rich in oil and gas.
– CAJ News