Islamic State-linked insurgents in Mozambique’s Nampula province Tuesday beheaded at least six people and also killed an Italian nun killed, authorities said on Wednesday.
President Filipe Nyusi said the insurgents unleashed a killing spree as they fled from soldiers from Mozambique, Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) sent to tackle the violence.
The insurgency is concentrated in Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado and has claimed thousands of lives since it broke out in 2017, disrupting multibillion-dollar natural gas projects. Speaking in the resort town of Xai Xai north of the capital Maputo, Nyusi said:
On the 6th of September, as a result of terrorist attacks, six citizens were beheaded, 3 kidnapped, six terrorists were captured and dozens of houses torched in the districts of Erati and Memba, Nampula province.
According to media reports, an 83-year-old Italian nun, who lived in the city of Nacala, was shot in an attack on Tuesday night, while two other missionaries managed to escape.
Nampula province secretary of state Mety Gondola confirmed the development to Reuters saying the situation was worrisome.
The Portuguese News agency Lusa said the nun, who was shot in the head, belonged to the order of the Comboni Missionary Sisters and had been working in Mozambique since 1963.