Militant Islamists ‘behead more than 50’ in Mozambique

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More than 50 people have been beheaded in Mozambique by militant Islamists, state media report.

The militants turned a football pitch in a village into an “execution ground”, where they decapitated and chopped bodies, other said.

Several people were also beheaded in another village, state media reported.

The beheadings are the latest in a series of gruesome that the militants have carried in gas-rich Cabo Delgado province since 2017.

Up 2,000 people have been killed and about 430,000 have been left homeless in the conflict in the mainly-Muslim province.

The militants are linked the Islamic State (IS) group, giving it a foothold in southern Africa.

The group has exploited poverty and unemployment recruit youth in their fight establish Islamic rule in the area.

Many locals complain that they have benefited little from the province’ ruby and gas industries.

The BBC’ Jose Tembe from the capital, Maputo, that the latest attack was probably the worst carried by the militants.

Many people are shocked, and they are calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, he adds.

The chanted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”, in English), fired shots, and set homes alight when they raided Nanjaba village night, the state-owned Mozambique News Agency quoted survivors as saying.

Two people were beheaded in the village and several abducted, the news agency added.

A separate group of militants carried another brutal attack Muatide village, where they beheaded more than 50 people, the news agency reported.

Villagers who tried to flee were caught, and taken to the local football pitch where they were beheaded and chopped to pieces in an atrocity carried out from night to Sunday, privately-run Pinnancle News reported.

Mozambique’ government has appealed for international help to curb the insurgency, saying its troops need specialised .

In April, more than 50 people were beheaded or shot in an attack a village in Cabo Delgado and earlier this month, nine people were beheaded in the same province.

Human rights groups say Mozambican security forces have also carried human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests, torture and killings, during operations to curb the insurgency.