Fifty-two villagers killed by extremists in northern Mozambique

For more than two years the extremists mainly targeted isolated villages, killing over 900 people and leaving thousands displaced after their homes were razed to the ground. (File/AFP)
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Updated 21 April 2020

Fifty-two villagers killed by extremists in northern Mozambique

  • The killings took place in the village of Xitaxi in of Muidumbe district
  • Mudumane said the villagers were “massacred,” either shot dead or beheaded

MAPUTO: A shadowy extremist group that has terrorized northern Mozambique killed 52 villagers on April 7 after locals refused to be recruited to their ranks, according to police cited by local media Tuesday.
“Recently, the criminals tried to recruit young people to join their ranks, but there was resistance on the part of the youths. This provoked the anger of the criminals, who indiscriminately killed — cruelly and diabolically — 52 young people,” police spokesman Orlando Mudumane told the state-owned broadcasting service.
The killings took place in the village of Xitaxi in of Muidumbe district.
Mudumane said the villagers were “massacred,” either shot dead or beheaded.
Police said they have launched a manhunt for the attackers to bring them to justice.
Militants have in recent weeks stepped up attacks as part of a campaign to establish an Islamist caliphate in the gas-rich region, seizing government buildings, blocking roads and briefly hoisting their black-and-white extremist flag over towns and villages across Cabo Delgado province.
For more than two years the extremists mainly targeted isolated villages, killing more than 700 people, according to the French aid group MSF, and displacing at least 200,000, according to a local Catholic archbishop, Dom Luiz Fernando.
Thousands of people have escaped to the port city of Pemba, the capital of Cabo Delgado, seeking refuge among friends and relatives.
Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP), affiliated with the Daesh group, has claimed some of the attacks in the region since last year.


UK PM says schools must open in September

Updated 09 August 2020

UK PM says schools must open in September

  • A study has warned that Britain risks a second wave of COVID-19 this winter if schools open without an improved test-and-trace system
  • The government wants all pupils to return to school by early September

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said reopening schools in September was a social, economic and moral imperative and insisted they would be able to operate safely despite the ongoing threat from the pandemic.
His comments follow a study earlier this month which warned that Britain risks a second wave of COVID-19 this winter twice as large as the initial outbreak if schools open without an improved test-and-trace system.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Johnson said restarting schools was a national priority. Schools would be the last places to close in future local lockdowns, he was quoted by another newspaper as telling a meeting on Thursday.
Schools in England closed in March during a national lockdown, except for the children of key workers, and reopened in June for a small number of pupils.
The government wants all pupils to return to school by early September in what Johnson has called a “national priority.”
“Keeping our schools closed a moment longer than absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible,” Johnson wrote.
The economic costs for parents who cannot work if schools are shut are spiralling, and the country faces big problems if children miss out on education, the prime minister warned.
“This pandemic isn’t over, and the last thing any of us can afford to do is become complacent. But now that we know enough to reopen schools to all pupils safely, we have a moral duty to do so,” he wrote.
The Sunday Times newspaper reported that he has ordered a public relations campaign to ensure schools open on time and told the meeting last week that they should be the last places to close behind restaurants, pubs and shops.