The bush war raging across northern Mozambique has taken one of its most horrific turns yet.
A video, which has been shared widely on social media, shows armed men in police uniforms chasing and beating a naked woman in what is thought to be the southern African nation’s Cabo Delgado province.
The men shout at her Portuguese accusing her of being a member of the terrorist group Al- Shabab. She screams for mercy, but when she tries to run away, the men shoot her dead.
It is not clear when the video was filmed but the country’s defence ministry has called for an immediate investigation into the “horrifying” images.
“The defence and security forces reiterate that they do not agree with any barbaric act that substantiates the violation of human rights,” the ministry said in a statement.
Mozambique has been battling a horrific insurgency in its northern gas-rich Cabo Delgado province since October 2017.
The conflict is one of the least understood in the world. The identity of the militants, who claim some allegiance to Islamic State in the Middle East, still remains a mystery.
Fighting between the militants and the Mozambican military has killed hundreds if not thousands and displaced more than 100,000 people. Displaced villagers fleeing south speak of mass beheadings, torture and maiming.
While Africa’s other major conflict zones like the Sahel and Somalia have drawn in all manner of foreign powers like France, Britain, the US and the United Nations, no international or regional power has put boots on the ground to the aid of Mozambique’s impoverished government in Maputo.
Instead, the country’s corruption-ridden and beleaguered military has been left to fend almost entirely on its own, with the help of a handful of mercenaries.
Last week, Amnesty International claimed that the Mozambican military was torturing suspected extremists.
However, Mozambican officials denied the claims. They say that the jihadists carried out the violence by impersonating government troops.
In the past, multiple sources working on the ground have told The Telegraph that the militants do regularly wear looted uniforms to confuse soldiers and civilians.
(With additional reporting by Peta Thornycroft)
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