Abby Davis, FISM News
ISIS has claimed responsibility for attacks that killed eight people in Christian villages, according to International Christian Concerns.
Between May 23 and May 31, six villages in Mozambique’s northern province Cabo Delgado were attacked. Several houses were burned and eight people were killed, four of whom were known to be Christians.
Now, the Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack and released disturbing photographs showing six decapitated bodies.
Cabo Delgado has been in turmoil since Mozambique’s civil war erupted in the resource-rich province in October 2017. The war began when a group of young people attacked a local police station and army post, the BBC reported. Now, 24 countries have sent troops to help the Mozambique government fight the insurgents.
Mozambique has been hesitant to accept U.S. support. In March 2021, the State Department labeled the insurgents Isis-Mozambique and categorized the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Meanwhile, the Islamic State (IS) has named the group IS-Mozambique.
According to BBC’s Mozambique analyst, Joseph Hanlon, the government of Mozambique is likely trying to prevent a proxy war between the U.S. and IS. Hanlon reported that the government likely fears a reprisal of a 1980’s Cold War-era proxy war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union that killed one million Mozambicans.
While Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi has allowed a small U.S. training mission and accepted troops from countries including Rwanda and South Africa, attacks are still continuing in the northern province.
Between June 2 and June 9, a new wave of attacks in Cabo Delgado’s Ancuabe district displaced nearly 10,000 people, and at least four victims were beheaded, according to humanitarian organization Save the Children.
Since war began in 2017, over 4,000 people have been killed and 800,000 displaced, the BBC reports.