Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged to support neighbouring Mozambique fight an escalating insurgency after Islamic militants beheaded more than 50 people.
Police in Mozambique this week said the militants gathered the victims in a football field and killed them.
President Mnangagwa took to Twitter saying he “was deeply shocked by recent reports of terrorist activity in Mozambique”.
“These acts of barbarity must be stamped out wherever they are found,” he said.
“Zimbabwe is ready to assist in any way we can. The security of our region is paramount in the protection of our people.”
Islamic terrorists have intensified attacks on civilians and infrastructure in Mozambique’s northern region of Cabo Delgado.
Acts of banditry
Landlocked Zimbabwe’s access to Indian Ocean ports via road and rail is also threatened by acts of banditry by Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) in central Mozambique.
President Mnangagwa has been pushing for a regional response to the Mozambican conflicts.
The Zimbabwean leader early this year travelled to Mozambique to meet his counterpart Filipe Nyusi.
They discussed the situation in Cabo Delgado and parts of Manica and Sofala provinces.
The Islamists operate in the region bordering Tanzania and the Indian Ocean.
They began their insurgence in 2017 where they attacked civilians, police and government workers in the region.
According to reports, Mozambique has roped in mercenaries to help in the fight against the Islamists.
Zimbabwe has denied reports that it deployed specialist forces to help the Mozambican army repel the insurgents.
In the 1990s Zimbabwe deployed its troops in Mozambique to protect an oil pipeline from the port city of Beira to Harare and a railway line at the height of the civil war in the neighbouring country that pitted Renamo and government forces.