An armed militant group killed at least 52 youths in a village in northern Mozambique after they refused to be recruited into its ranks, local media reported late Tuesday.
According to a report published by Mozambican news site Noticias, the Defense and Security Forces (SDS) confirmed that the killings took place in the first week of April.
SDS spokesman Orlando Mudumane said the youths were attacked and murdered in the village of Xitaxi in Muidumbe district of Cabo Delgado province, according to the report.
Mudumane strongly condemned the cowardly act and reiterated the government’s determination and commitment to protect citizens and fight against the militants.
He also appealed to youths not to join any militant or criminal groups in the country, advising them instead to collaborate with the authorities in the fight against them.
“The SDS has been intensifying several operational actions to combat and persecute evildoers with a view to neutralizing and consequently making them responsible for the criminal and hideous acts that they have perpetrated in that part of the country,” he said.
In recent weeks, suspected militants have stepped up attacks in the northern province. (Anadolu Agency)