Three people were killed Wednesday in an ambush in central Mozambique, police and witnesses said, the latest in a series of attacks after violent elections and accusations of fraud.
The general elections of October 15 have increased tensions despite the existence of a fragile agreement between Frelimo (in power) and his rival, Renamo, a former rebel group turned opposition party after a war that took place between 1975 and 1992.
Mozambique has had one of the most brutal election campaigns in its history. Renamo accused Frelimo of violating the peace agreement by resorting to violence and intimidation on election day.
Several attacks have been reported since the election which resulted in the victory of outgoing President Filipe Nyusi with 73% of the vote.
Wednesday’s protest took place in Manica province: unidentified men ambushed and opened fire on minibus passengers.
« They fired on the front tires of my bus and hit my legs, » said the driver, Chiringa Taimo, who managed to flee the scene as the attackers set his vehicle on fire.
The Renamo favorable to peace
« They followed me into the bush and I begged them not to kill me. They took my wallet and left.
Taimo told AFP that one of his passengers and two other civilians died on the spot. At least three people were seriously injured.
The police confirmed the attack without giving further details about the attackers. A dissident group from Renamo claimed responsibility for an attack in the neighboring Gorongosa district, which killed five people, including two policemen, last week.
Renamo, for its part, reiterated its commitment to peace and said it would respect the peace agreement of last August.
Ossufo Momade, the leader of Renamo, came in second in the presidential election with less than 22% of the vote.
The violence also affects Cabo Delgado province in the north, where according to witnesses at least 14 people were killed in two attacks last week. The police suspect Islamists of being responsible for the violence in the northern regions.
Since 2017, a series of attacks has caused the death of three hundred civilians and forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes.