Tuesday, December 31, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE, SAPA) Mozambique: Rebels attack top businessmen
13/11/2013 00:00:00

A GANG carrying guns and machetes has attacked and seriously wounded a wealthy businessman in northern Mozambique, police said on Tuesday, extending a wave of violence gripping parts of the country.

Some of the attackers wore dark green uniforms associated with members of former rebel group Renamo during the Monday assault on a property in the northern province of Nampula, police said.

"Ten men came to the smallholding, three of them dressed in Renamo uniforms carrying AK47s and the rest carrying machetes," provincial police spokesman Miguel Bartolomeu said. "They said they wanted money."

When the man, who runs a driving school, failed to give them money the group went on a rampage, attacking him and molesting his workers and security guards, Bartolomeu said.

"They attacked the owner with machetes. He is in a serious condition in Nampula Hospital," he said.

They also torched three houses and several vehicles, he said.
The attack occurred in Rampale district, about 35km outside the provincial capital, Nampula.

While the motive of the attack appears to have been robbery, it is the latest in a string of violent incidents in Mozambique, which is suffering some of the worst unrest since the end of its debilitating civil war in 1992.

Skirmishes have intensified in recent weeks between the army and fighters from Renamo, a guerrilla group-turned-opposition party that has struggled to attract voters.

Renamo has kept an undisclosed number of its so-called presidential guard in Nampula, where its leader, Afonso Dhlakama, was headquartered from 2009 until October last year, when he set up camp in the central Gorongosa mountains.

Days after government forces overran his Gorongosa base on 21 October, violence flared up briefly in Nampula province, including an attack on a truck outside the city.

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