At least 10 people killed in Mozambique firefight

Convoy carrying Mozambique's opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama opens fire on minibus taxi killing one and injuring 3 people

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Afonso Dhlakama, presidential candidate from the main opposition Renamo party.

Updated Sep 27, 2015

At least ten people were killed in a convoy carrying Mozambique opposition party Renamo's leader Afonso Dhlakama, police said on Saturday.

Police also said, armed men in the 12-vehicle convoy opened fire on a minibus taxi which was carrying civilians. The driver was killed and three passengers were injured while traveling near Imchope in central Mozambique on Friday.

"According to our reports, it seems the minibus came too close to Renamo's convoy, who thought it was attacking, so they opened fire," police commander Armando Mude told AFP. 

A firefight broke out when police arrived on the scene and  "nine deaths are reported among Renamo's ranks," Mude said.

The surviving Renamo members, including Dhlakama, fled into the bush and a police operation was continuing in the area, he said.

"It 's been a big effort to contain the population. They were furious at Renamo and set fire to their cars which the gunmen had abandoned before fleeing into the bush." Mude said.

Mude also stated that there had been eight armed men in every vehicle of the Renamo convoy.

Dhlakama was not injured after being "ambushed for the second time in two weeks" and was in hiding, Renamo spokesperson Antonio Muchanga told AFP.

Dhlakama escaped without injury on September 12, when his convoy was shot at as he was coming from a rally in the central Manica province.

According to Renamo, the attack was planned by the governing Frelimo party.

Dhlakama has refused to accept the results of 2014 election and has threatened to assume power by force.



TRTWorld and agencies