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Maputo Asked to Intervene in Deadly Raids

The United Nations has called on Mozambique to investigate reports that an armed group murdered villagers and beheaded women and children in a violence-wracked northern region. As many as 50 people have died in recent days in attacks by fighters linked to ISIL (ISIS), local media reported. “The secretary-general is shocked over recent reports of massacres by non-state armed groups in several villages … including the reported beheading and kidnapping of women and children,” his spokesman said. Violence has surged this year in Cabo Delgado – a province that borders Tanzania and is the site of a multibillion-dollar natural gas project – alarming governments across southern Africa. Little is known about the fighters who call themselves al-Shabab – although they have no known links to the group of that name operating in Somalia. The unrest has killed more than 2,000 people since 2017 – more than half of them civilians, according to the US-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project. The violent attacks in Cabo Delgado have triggered a humanitarian crisis with more than 300,000 internally displaced people and 712,000 in need of humanitarian assistance, according to an Amnesty International report released last month.