Mozambique police were due to hold a news conference on Tuesday following the beheading of ten people, including children, over the weekend in a village in northern Mozambique in an attack blamed on suspected Islamists.
The attack occurred in Monjane, a village not far from Palma, a small town gearing up to be the country's new natural gas hub in the northern Cabo Delgado province, AFP reported.
"We were informed about this tragedy," said Palma's administrator David Machimbuko. The bloody attack was confirmed by a local resident, who blamed Islamists. Mozambique's state broadcaster further confirmed the attack, stating that "10 persons were decapitated" in the Palma area.
Islamists have carried out a number of attacks in Cabo Delgado since October.
One of the victims of the weekend attack was the leader of Monjane village, a local resident said, without giving his name for fear of reprisals.
The attackers targeted the chief as he had been providing information to the police about the location of Al Shabaab in forests, an eye-witness reported, referring to an armed group believed responsible for a deadly October attack on a police station and military post in the town of Mocimboa da Praia.
Two officers died and 14 attackers were killed in what was believed to be the first jihadist attack on the country.
The group has no known link to the Somali jihadist group of the same name.
In the following weeks, at least 300 Muslims were arrested and several mosques forced to close.
- African News Agency (ANA)