The government says it has intensified operations to combat militants as northern Cabo Delgado province sees a rise in attacks.

In this file photo taken on March 7, 2018, soldiers from the Mozambican army patrol the streets amid heightened security following a two-day attack from suspected militants in October last year in Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique.
In this file photo taken on March 7, 2018, soldiers from the Mozambican army patrol the streets amid heightened security following a two-day attack from suspected militants in October last year in Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique. (AFP)

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.

Defence and security forces confirmed that the killings took place in the first week of April, according to a report published by Mozambican news site Noticias.

The youths were attacked and murdered in the village of Xitaxi in Muidumbe district of Cabo Delgado province, SDS spokesman Orlando Mudumane was quoted by the article.

He appealed to younger generations 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.

Mudumane condemned the act and reiterated the government’s determination and commitment to protect citizens and fight against the militants.

In recent weeks, suspected militants have stepped up attacks in the northern province.

Source: AA