Lions and crocodiles credited with killing ISIS insurgents fighting in Mozambique, says report
- Wild lions and snakes have killed ISIS fighters in northern Mozambique, The Times reports.
- A police chief said, "some of them died having been hit by bullets from our forces and others due to attacks by animals."
Wild lions and snakes have killed a number of ISIS fighters in northern Mozambique, where pro-government forces are battling with the insurgents, The Times reports.
Bernardino Rafael, local police chief of the Quissanga district in Cabo Delgado, told villagers that wild animals had contributed to the death toll of jihadist fighters, Known locally as al-Shabab, in the latest bout of remote conflict.
"Some of them died having been hit by bullets from our forces and others due to attacks by animals like snakes, buffalos, lions and even crocodiles," said Rafael, according to The Times.
Sixteen insurgents have been recently buried in the Quissanga district.
The ISIS militants use the region's forests for cover, which still have large populations of elephants, lions, and leopards despite poaching and human encroachment.
The ISIS attacks on Mozambique, specifically in the oil-rich Cabo Delgado, began in 2017 but became more violent and dangerous in 2020, according to the British think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies.
The Islamic extremist group is fighting in Cabo Delgado, one of the poorest areas of the country, in an attempt to create a breakaway regime by taking advantage of the "weak governance, socio-economic problems, and ethnic and religious marginalization from the national government in Maputo," according to the think tank.
Last year, the UN released a report saying ISIS had been recruiting and "indoctrinating" children to fight in Mozambique, with UNICEF spokesperson James Elder saying they'd seen footage "apparently showing abducted children as young as five handling weapons and being indoctrinated to fight."
The violence has resulted in over 4,000 casualties in and 950,000 more displaced from their homes, The Times reports.
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