According to the U.K-based organization, children as young as 11 were being beheaded by Islamic militants in Mozambique. One of the remaining survivors shared that she hid behind the woods with her three children while she watched her 12-year old son being decapitated.
“We tried to escape to the woods, but they took my eldest son and beheaded him,” the woman said. She continued that she was completely helpless, “We couldn’t do anything because we would be killed too.”
Save the Children’s country director, Chance Briggs condemned the violence, adding that the mass murder had “sicken us to our core.” Briggs also demanded to put a stop to the gruesome attacks, “The violence has to stop and displaced families need to be supported as they find their bearings and recover from trauma.”
While ISIS is slowly losing ground in the Middle East, it is rapidly expanding in some regions in Africa including Mozambique, Sahel, and Somalia.
In a recent report from the BBC, the terror organization also carried out mass beheadings in the Mozambique region of Cabo Delgado. Authorities believed that a group called “Al-Shabab” who had taken roots in Somalia is allegedly behind the violent attacks. The organization which began raiding villages in 2017 had reportedly pledged its allegiance to ISIS.
Back in April 2020, the Islamic militant beheaded at least 50 people in the village of Xitaxi. The news outlet claimed that the terror group tried to recruit young boys. When the villagers refused, they retaliated by decapitating its young people.
In November, ISIS also raided the village of Nanjaba. The survivors claimed that the militants chanted the phrase, “Allahu Akbar” while they abducted women, and burned down houses. The group also beheaded two of its residents.
Just a few weeks after the raid, the terror group also turned a football field into a killing ground in the Muatide village where they massacred young women and children.
Currently, around 2,500 people were killed and 700,000 were displaced since the armed conflict began in 2017. To make matters worse, international organizations also accused the Mozambican military of perpetrating violence and abuse against its own citizens.
On Monday, the U.S. had also pledged its support to help the African government combat the insurgency. The U.S. Embassy announced that it would send its special forces to train the Mozambican marines, as well as provide additional medical and communications equipment.
According to the authorities, the terror organization is after the region’s oil and ruby industries. The BBC cited, “Some analysts believe the insurgency’s roots lay in socio-economic grievances, with many locals complaining that they have benefited little from the province’s ruby and gas industries.”