MOZAMBICAN President Filipe Nyusi (left) and his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwe (right) join other leaders from southern Africa during a meeting in Mozambique’s capital Maputo on Thursday.—AP
MOZAMBICAN President Filipe Nyusi (left) and his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwe (right) join other leaders from southern Africa during a meeting in Mozambique’s capital Maputo on Thursday.—AP

JOHANNESBURG: Twelve people, possibly foreigners, were found beheaded following an attack claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group on the northern Mozambique town of Palma on Wednesday.

Commander Pedro da Silva told journalists visiting the town, near natural gas projects worth $60 billion, that he could not be sure of the nationalities of the 12 people, but he believed they were foreigners because they were white.

“They were tied up and beheaded here,” he said in footage broadcast on a television channel, as he pointed to areas of disturbed earth where he said he buried the bodies himself.

The IS has been increasingly active since 2017 in the northern Cabo Delgado province where Palma is located, although it is unclear whether they have a unified aim.

Regional leaders from countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana met in Mozambique’s capital Maputo on Thursday to consider a response to the insurgency.

Mozambique’s foreign minister Veronica Macamo Dlhovo said the leaders resolved to send a mission to Mozambique this month.

“The mission will come to assess the dimensions of the threat and to see what means to employ, so that these means are proportionate,” she said.

A communique issued after Thursday’s meeting referred to a “technical deployment” to Mozambique and said further meetings of regional bloc SADC would be convened.

The government has said dozens died in the latest assault that began on March 24, and aid groups believe tens of thousands have been displaced. But the full scale of the casualties and displacement remains unclear.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2021

Opinion

Eid and money
Updated 13 May 2021

Eid and money

Why is a thing more real when you can touch, taste or feel it as opposed to something that is only experienced?
On whose side?
13 May 2021

On whose side?

Ambassadors strive to ‘well-serve’ their country.

Editorial

Eid during Covid
Updated 13 May 2021

Eid during Covid

It is indisputable that our actions now will prevent matters from becoming far worse.
Updated 14 May 2021

Foreign policy gaffes

MIXED messages, retractions and clarifications from the government have become an all-too-common occurrence when it...
13 May 2021

Zimbabwe series win

PAKISTAN’S crushing innings victories over Zimbabwe in the two Tests were a befitting end to their highly...
PM’s Saudi visit
Updated 12 May 2021

PM’s Saudi visit

It is very important that Pakistan take no step, or agree to any demand, that can have an adverse effect on national sovereignty.
12 May 2021

A new intifada?

THE situation in the occupied territories over the past few days has been incendiary, with tensions boiling over as...
Updated 12 May 2021

SOP violations

ON Monday, Sindh Police officials were given a well-deserved slap on the wrist by a judicial magistrate in Karachi...