Maputo — Islamist terrorists last week suffered a heavy defeat during a failed attack on the town of Nangade in Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado.
According to reports in the news sheet “Mediafax”, all of the attackers were killed or captured by the Mozambican defence forces and their allies from SAMIM (SADC Mission in Mozambique).
The report stated that the terrorists attacked Chitunda, an outlying neighbourhood of Nangade town at nine in the morning.
This was the first time Nangade had come under attack, and the first time any district capital had been attacked since troops from SAMIM and Rwanda entered the conflict.
The jihadists entered Chitunda and murdered three people, while many others fled into the bush. They went on to burn down about 20 houses and loot property.
According to the “Mediafax” sources, there were seven people in the terrorist group, only three of whom were armed.
The unit of the Mozambican defence and security forces stationed in the town, supported by SAMIM troops from Lesotho, reacted quickly, killing two of the raiders and capturing the other five.
Earlier in the day, the group had been spotted in fields in the area of Nakaindili, about three kilometres from the town.
Here, one of the terrorists was captured and told the authorities that the other seven were on their way to the town.
“Mediafax” also reported that the Tanzanian contingent of SAMIM has, in recent days, captured 95 youths on their way to terrorist bases.
Most of them were captured, not inside Mozambique, but in Mahea village in the southern Tanzanian province of Mtwara.
Some of the youths had taken refuge in the Mahea mosque.
Three children who had been out catching birds spotted the movements of the would-be terrorist recruits near the border and tipped off the authorities.
Meanwhile, the commander of the Northern Operational Theatre of the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM), Omar Saranga, told reporters that dozens of other islamist terrorists were killed in an operation that led to the seizure of the major jihadist base of Catupa, in Macomia district in Cabo Delgado.
Catupa was captured in mid-July and was regarded as the most important strategic stronghold of the terrorists, following the fall of their Siri 1 and Siri 2 bases last year.
It was located in dense bush and accommodated rebels fleeing from the offensive in which the FADM and its Rwandan allies drove the jihadists out of the town of Mocimboa da Praia in August 2021.
“Our forces killed dozens of terrorists and seized military and computer material,” said Saranga. — AIM