Seven people, including a police officer, were killed in northern Mozambique in an attack claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State, local sources reported on Saturday.
One police officer and six civilians, including two children, were killed in the attack, which took place on Wednesday evening in the village of Lidjungo, Nangade district, AFP was told by a local official based in Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique, without giving details of how the attackers operated.
Since October 2017, Islamist militants have targeted isolated communities in Cabo Delgado province, a gas-rich and predominantly Muslim province, killing more than 250 people and forcing thousands more to leave their homes despite a strong police and military presence in this region bordering Tanzania.
According to SITE Intelligence, which monitors jihadist activities, the Islamic state group issued a statement on Friday evening, stating its involvement in the Wednesday attack. This is the second time he has claimed an attack in northern Mozambique.
“Caliphate soldiers attacked Mozambican army barracks in the Nangade region of northern Mozambique two days ago,” according to a SITE translation. The group claimed to have encountered the soldiers “killing and wounding a number of them and forcing others to flee”.
The EI had already claimed its involvement in an attack in northern Mozambique on 3 June in the village of Metubi, 150 km east of Nangade.
Police and authorities have a policy of not commenting on insurgent activities, even if the attacks are confirmed by the local population.
The identity of Islamist militants active in northern Mozambique remains uncertain and their motives unknown. Several analysts expressed doubts about the EI’s claims, suggesting that it is unlikely that the group will have direct contact with fighters in Mozambique.