Jihadist Leader, 18 Fighters Killed in Mozambique

The African bloc said Saturday that a jihadist leader and 18 fighters were killed in a military offensive in the insurgency-prone region of northern Mozambique.

Al-Qaida-linked jihadists have been terrorizing the gas-rich Cabo Delgado region since 2017. They raided villages and towns to establish a caliphate.

According to the Southern African Development Society (Southern Africa Development Community/SADC), local jihadist leader, Rajab Awadhi Ndanjile, was killed along with 18 other fighters in an offensive on September 25 against a militant base in Cabo Delgado’s Nangade district.

Many members of the 16-nation bloc have deployed troops in Mozambique to fight the insurgents.

SADC said Ndanjile recruited and indoctrinated fighters. He was also involved in the first attacks in the area and “subsequent attacks on villages” as well as “abductions of women and children.”

In July, Rwanda sent 1,000 troops to Mozambique, the first country to do so. Several other SADC members followed suit.

South Africa has deployed nearly 1,500 troops in the country.

The insurgency has killed more than 3,300 people — half of them civilians — and left at least 800,000 homeless in the past four years. [vm/ft]

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