The Guardian

Jihadists kill three in northeastern Mozambique

A jihadist attack on a village in northern Mozambique has left three people dead and dozens of homes and businesses burnt down, security and local officials said Friday.

The village of Nutontu, located on the main road connecting the northeastern and southern regions of the rebel-held province of Cabo Delgado, has been attacked several times by jihadists.

“Our village was attacked. My house was burnt down. Forty-three households in our village were burnt down and three people were killed,” Ntongwe village leader said on Wednesday. talked about the attack.

Security sources also confirmed similar death tolls.

The village is located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Chinda, where the Rwandan army's main military base is deployed to fight attacks by armed groups that have plagued the province since October 2017.

However, they arrived too late to repel the attack on Ntongwe.

“The Rwandan army came to help us, but when they arrived, the rebels had already done everything they wanted to do,” the village leader added.

“They looted and burned stalls and almost all the houses in the village.”

Ntontwe had been abandoned for years, but residents began returning last year, and local authorities said it had a population of about 5,000 as of October.

NGOs such as Médecins Sans Frontières and Solidarity International were providing food, drinking water, and other basic services to displaced people returning to their villages.

The Mozambican Defense Forces had established positions in Ntontwe to protect residents and their property.

“Our troops were here when the attack started, but they disappeared and we don't know how they disappeared,” said another community leader in the village.

“As the rebels are pursuing a militaristic approach, they also fled with the population and appear to have taken off their military uniforms to avoid being easily identified.”

After years of jihadist attacks, troops from Rwanda and other African countries were sent in in July 2021 to help Mozambique regain control of large parts of the province.


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