Militants behead over 50 people in football pitch

Militants behead over 50 people in football pitch


Published: 11:38 10 November 2020   Updated: 11:43 10 November 2020

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

Militants beheaded more than 50 people in a local football pitch in northern Mozambique. 

International media reported that the militants turned a football pitch in a village into an "execution ground", where they decapitated and chopped bodies. Several people were also beheaded in another village, state media reported.

The beheadings are the latest in a series of gruesome attacks that the militants have carried out in gas-rich Cabo Delgado province 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 militants are linked to the Islamic State (IS) group, giving it a foothold in southern Africa. 

The state-owned Mozambique News Agency reported that two people were beheaded in Nanjaba village on Friday night and several women abducted. A separate group of militants carried out another brutal attack on Muatide village, where they beheaded more than 50 people, the news agency added.

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. 

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

Earlier 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.

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.