Gunmen attack vehicles on Moz highway

2013-06-21 13:12

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Maputo - Gunmen ambushed two vehicles driving along Mozambique's main north-south highway early on Friday, state media reported, just days after ex-rebels had vowed to block main transport routes.

A local official put the blame for the violence on the opposition and ex-rebel movement Renamo, which neither claimed nor denied responsibility.

The two separate incidents saw a truck and a passenger bus shot up on the EN1 road in central Sofala province and left at least one person injured, according to Radio Mozambique.

Renamo on Wednesday had said it would block the country's main highway in the area, along with a crucial rail link to coal fields.

Six rounds of peace talks between Renamo and the Frelimo-led government have failed to cool testy relations between the former foes, who fought a brutal 16 year civil war that ended in 1992.

In one attack, a truck was shot at about 70km from the town of Muxungwe.

"As we were driving they started shooting from the bush... they shot me," Monica Malote, a hitchhiker who had gotten a lift in the truck, told the radio.

In a second incident on the same stretch of road, a passenger bus heading toward the town of Quelimane came under fire, with a local official putting the blame on Renamo.

"Renamo men attacked a bus ... They fired three shots. Luckily there were no deaths," Arnaldo Machohe, a district administrator, told Radio Mozambique.

Machohe was unavailable for comment and police declined to confirm the details of the attacks.

Plain-clothed soldiers

Asked about the attacks on Friday, a Renamo spokesperson told AFP that it "did not have enough information" to claim or deny responsibility.

"The alert we gave at the press conference was to prevent this type of situation from coming about," Fernando Mazanga told AFP, referring to the attacks.

Mazanga said that police had arrested Renamo's information chief, Jeronimo Malagueta, who had issued the warning about blocking the roads.

Renamo vowed on Wednesday to stop traffic along the 100km stretch of road between the Save River and the town of Muxungwe, saying they had to stop "plain-clothed soldiers" from reaching their leader's bush camp further north.

Many truck and bus drivers using the main EN1 road decided not to use it overnight as attacks would be more likely, local independent television station STV reported.

Machohe told radio that Mozambican security forces were maintaining a heavy presence in the area.

"All forces, the rapid intervention force [riot police] and other forces are on the roads guaranteeing safety," he said. 

Three civilians died three months ago when Renamo members and police clashed along the same stretch of road.

Read more on:    renamo  |  mozambique  |  southern africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.