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Islamist rampage shocks majority-Christian Mozambique

East Africa

Islamist rampage shocks majority-Christian Mozambique

Islamist militants armed with machetes rampaged through a village in northern Mozambique at dawn on 5 June, beheading seven people and burning 164 houses.

The brutal onslaught is just one of a wave of an estimated 50 militant attacks since October 2017  which have killed 200 people. Previously unknown in the region, a rise of Islamist terrorism would impact significantly on Christians, who make up around 52% of the population.

At the time of writing, no organisation has claimed responsibility for the attacks and the intentions of the group remains ambiguous. So far, the violence has been concentrated in the northern coastal areas where the majority of the population is Muslim.

In neighbouring Kenya and Somalia, Christians are a constant target for persecution and terror by Al Shabaab militants and concerns are growing that the jihadist group could be gaining a foothold in Mozambique.