More than 50 people have been beheaded in the northern Mozambique province of Cabo Delgado by Islamic terrorists. As per a BBC report which labels the attackers as ‘militants’, the terrorists turned a football pitch in a village into an execution ground, where they decapitated and chopped bodies.
The terrorists are linked to the Islamic State (IS) group, the BBC reported. It is not clear whether they are are part of Ansar al-Sunna, the main terror outfit active in the region which first appeared around 2015 and was formed by followers of the radical Kenyan cleric Aboud Rogo. Ansar al-Sunna claims that Islam as practised in Mozambique has been corrupted and no longer follows the teachings of Muhammad.
According to 2019 Mozambique government census data, around 60% percent of the country’s 28 million population is Christian, 20% Muslim, and the rest are Jewish, Hindu, Baha’i, or without religious affiliation. Many citizens also follow syncretic indigenous African religious beliefs.
The BBC report adds –
“The beheadings are the latest in a series of gruesome attacks that the terrorists have carried out in gas-rich Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique since 2017. Up to 2,000 people have been killed and about 430,000 have been left homeless in the conflict in the mainly-Muslim province.
The gunmen chanted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”, in English), fired shots, and set homes alight when they raided Nanjaba village on Friday night, the state-owned Mozambique News Agency quoted survivors as saying.
Two people were beheaded in the village and several women abducted, the news agency added.
A separate group of terrorists carried out another brutal attack on 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 Friday night to Sunday, privately-run Pinnancle News reported.
In April, more than 50 people were beheaded or shot dead in an attack on a village in Cabo Delgado and earlier this month, nine people were beheaded in the same province.”
Africa is beset with multiple Islamic terrorist outfits like al-Shabab centred in Somalia but active in Kenya, Tanzania and known to have links with the terrorists in northern Mozambique too; Boko Haram which is active in Nigeria; AQIM (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) which aims to overthrow the Algerian government and is also active in Mali, Libya, Niger, Mauritania; Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian Islamic Jihad active in Egypt; Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group known by the French acronym GICM; Islamic State (IS) affiliated organizations — Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) and Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS), Islamic State’s Central Africa Province (ISCAP) etc.
According to the Global Terrorism Index 2019 (GTI), the number of terror-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa has already surpassed the number of deaths in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Islamic terrorism is advancing downwards from North Africa towards the central and southern parts of the continent.
Did you find this article useful? We’re a non-profit. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.