The Mozambican government has denied reports which suggested that Islamist militants recently captured and beheaded over 50 civilians in the northern Cabo Delgado province.
The reports had “shocked” the international community with Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa pledging to assist the neighbouring country deal with the insurgency.
Responding to the reports, the governor of the gas-rich province, Valige Tauabo, said there were no recent killings in any district of the province adding that the last known killings by the Islamists took place on 6 April.
The state media had on Tuesday reported that more than 50 people were beheaded by the militants at a football pitch in a village in Miudumbe district.
Mozambique News Agency, a state-owned publication quoted survivors as saying the gunmen chanted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”, in English), fired shots, and set homes alight when they raided Nanjaba village on Friday night.
Governor Tauabo said there had only been “incursions by evildoers” who were being pursued by the military adding that the government is concerned about the spread of armed violence in Cabo Delgado.
More: BBC News