A senior jihadist responsible for attacks in Cabo Delgado province has been arrested in Mozambique

The Mozambican authorities have announced the arrest of a senior jihadist official as part of operations launched in the Cabo Delgado province in the north of the country.

According to the Mozambican newspaper Noticias, the Tanzanian suspect identified as Ali was arrested in Nangade along with six other suspected jihadists.

Accordingly, the man is suspected of having led the operations of jihadist groups in Macomia and Mucojo for the past year before moving to bases in Mocimboa da Praia and Muera.

A senior jihadist responsible for attacks in Cabo Delgado province has been arrested in Mozambique
A senior jihadist responsible for attacks in Cabo Delgado province has been arrested in Mozambique

The detainee is also accused of ordering attacks and directing recruitment efforts to join the ranks of the terrorists, Portuguese news agency Lusa reports.

In late December, Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi called on security forces to step up anti-jihadist operations in Cabo Delgado, where the army is backed by Southern African Development Community (SADC) troops and Rwandan special forces.

The SADC itself last week announced its decision to extend the military operation in northern Mozambique without giving a date for its end, praising the “good progress” on the ground for “successful operations” and “achievements” in recent months.

Since October 2017, Cabo Delgado has been the scene of attacks by Islamist militiamen known as Al Shabaab, unrelated to the group of the same name that operates in Somalia and has ties to Al Qaeda. Since mid-2019, they have been claimed primarily by the Islamic State in Central Africa (ISCA), which has intensified its actions since March 2020.

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