Scores Executed as Islamist Jihadists Reportedly Target Christians at Mozambican Village

Credit: Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International

At least 11 people were killed on September 15 after members of the Islamic State attacked a village in Mozambique and opened fire on Christians after hand-picking them from Muslims, the Catholic Pontifical and charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, has reported.

In a Monday, September 18 report, ACN indicates that the terrorists arrived in the village of Naquitengue, located in Mocímboa da Praia district of the embattled Cabo Delgado province, in the early afternoon of the fateful day and summoned the villagers.

After separating the Christians from the Muslims, “based on names” to identify them, “they opened fire on the Christians,” the report further indicates.

The charity foundation has gathered experiences of those affected by the violence in the Mozambican district and says, “The reports are disturbing”.

Those who spoke to ACN recounted that Christians were “showered with bullets” in the September 15 early afternoon incident. 


“There are also records of burned houses and destroyed property,” ACN reports, and adds, “Hours later, on Sunday, the terrorist organization Islamic State claimed this attack, reporting 11 deaths, although the number of victims is expected to be higher, at least 12, with several injured.”

The Catholic entity further reports that the attack, which it describes as “of enormous cruelty” caused panic among the populations who fled to the forests.

Friar Boaventura, a missionary from the Institute of the Fraternity of the Poor of Jesus (PJC), present in Cabo Delgado confirmed to ACN the terrorist’s strategy to isolate Christians from others before executing them, noting that it was not the first time such an incident had happened in Cabo Delgado.

“This strategy has already happened in the past,” he said, adding that terrorists had already carried out attacks “with this same scenario”, that is, to “separate Christians from Muslims”. 

The missionary told ACN that the September 15 incident had left the population scared, adding that the attack occurred at a time when many people were beginning to return to their homelands. 

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Friar Boaventura lamented that “new moments of tension and insecurity” had engulfed the population, asking “that we pray for our brothers who suffer so much”.

The crisis in Northern Mozambique, which erupted in 2017 is mostly concentrated in Cabo Delgado province, but has also spread to neighboring provinces, such as Nampula and Niassa. 

Here, armed men belonging to the Islamic State, locally referred to as Al Shabaab, continue to attack civilians. As at April 2023, the violent conflict had displaced over one million  people.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.