Maputo — A group of 21 people (15 women and six children), kidnapped by the islamist terrorists operating in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado can now return to their homes on Matemo island, after being rescued by the defence and security forces.
According to a report in Thursday’s issue of the independent newsheet “Carta de Mocambique”, they were captured during a terrorist attack against Matemo on 6 January.
Their captors used them to transport goods looted from the local populations, and took them to Macomia district on the mainland.
One of the rescued women, Maisha Ambasse, said “there were about 30 terrorists who took us from Matemo to Olumboa (a village on the mainland). When we got there, they said they were going to take us to Mocimboa da Praia, to study in a madrassa (a Koranic school)”.
But before that could happen, a government helicopter arrived to rescue the hostages. “We’re thankful that the helicopter saved us”, said Ambasse. “Otherwise by now we would be in Mocimboa da Praia”.
The General Commander of the Mozambican police, Bernadino Rafael, said the defence forces knew where the terrorists were, and launched what he called a “smart attack” to rescue the hostages
He said the government forces used aircraft to follow the terrorists and their hostages until they were about five kilometres from Macomia town. They then launched the attack which culminated in the release of the hostages,
“They can return to their community in Matemo which is now free from any terrorist presence”, said Rafael.