The Mozambican Defence and Security Forces (FDS) say they have arrested a senior leader of Al-Shabaab, the terror gang that is responsible for the insurgency in the country’s Cabo Delgado province.
Identified only as Ali, 39, the Tanzanian national was arrested in Nangade district along with six other militiamen, according to information provided by the security forces, and which was also reported by local media on Tuesday.
Mozambique has been battling Al-Shabaab terrorists, whom the US has designated as Islamic State affiliates.
Northern Mozambique is seen as the latest haven for terrorists from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
“In addition to directing attacks, the arrested leader managed recruitment actions through which he incited extremism”, the forces’ statement said.
Nangade district was over the weekend attacked by the Al-Shabaab armed group and at least five people were killed and 200 others injured.
Apart from Nangade, other districts in Cabo Delgado province have witnessed terrorist attacks, including Macomia, Mucojo, Muera and Mocímboa da Praia.
Since October 2017, Al-Shabab rebels have attacked numerous villages and destroyed extensive civilian property and infrastructure, including schools and health centres in Cabo Delgado province.
An estimated 3,000 people were killed and 820,000 displaced.
Apart from Cabo Delgado, the terrorists have also advanced their heinous attacks to Niassa province.
Last week, Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) agreed to extend its Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) by three months to help the southern African country fight against terrorism in a $29.5 million budget endeavour.
SAMIM has deployed 1,500 troops in the troubled Cabo Delgado province since July 2021.
"The budget was also approved and promulgated and most of the countries during the session said they will comply with the stipulated deadline," President Filipe Nyusi said Wednesday after the SADC Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government held in Malawi.