Suspected Islamist militants staged an attack in Mocimboa da Praia (Cabo Delgado province) on Saturday, June 27. According to media sources, there have been reports of armed clashes between security forces and militants after Ansar Al-Sunna insurgents launched their attack at approximately 05:00 (local time). Local residents fled to the nearby bush area and the port and initial reports indicate that access routes were closed. There are reports of damage to infrastructure as the insurgents set alight houses and buildings. Further details are awaited, including the number of casualties.
A heightened security presence and security operations are to be expected in the near term in the area. Further militant attacks in Cabo Delgado province are highly likely in the medium term.
Cabo Delgado province has seen an increase in Islamist militant activity in 2020. While the most prominent militant group operating in the province is Ansar al-Sunna, also known as Al-Shabaab (not related to the Somali Al-Shabaab), Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) have recently claimed responsibility for several significant attacks. At least 900 civilians have been killed, and at least 150,000 more have fled Cabo Delgado since the insurgency began in 2017.
On May 28-30 militants captured Macomia town in Macomia district of the province, and launched attacks on five neighbouring villages. Security forces conducted a successful offensive to recapture the town, resulting in 78 insurgents killed.
Individuals in Cabo Delgado province are advised to monitor developments, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
Some Western governments advise against all travel to parts of Cabo Delgado province. Travelers in or intending to travel to Cabo Delgado should seek professional security support due to the volatile security environment and potential for further attacks.
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