Top opposition Renamo MP shot, wounded in Mozambique

The Beira business district in Beira, Mozambique is pictured on October 18, 2014 (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)

Maputo (AFP) - A top Mozambican opposition official and lawmaker was shot and seriously wounded Wednesday in the central city of Beira, Renamo said, raising fears the attack might heighten political tensions in the country.

Manuel Bissopo "had just come out of a press conference where he denounced the kidnapping and killing of three of our members when two military and security cars gave chase and then attacked him," Renamo spokesman Antonio Muchanga, told AFP.

"We would really like to know their motive," he said.

He is in intensive care at a private hospital.

His bodyguard was killed in the attack and three other people who were in the same car were also wounded.

Police confirmed the attack but would not speculate on the assailants.

"At the moment we do not have enough details to understand the circumstances around this barbaric act," police spokesman Inacio Dina told AFP.

Bissopo is the secretary general of the former rebel movement turned opposition party Renamo and a member of the Pan African parliament, the legislative arm of the African Union (AU).

The attack comes amid renewed tensions between government and the party. Sporadic clashes between government forces and Renamo have occurred in recent months.

Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, who led Renamo in a 16-year civil war which ended in 1992, has refused to accept the results of 2014 elections which saw him beaten once again by his old enemy, the Frelimo party.

Last month Dhlakama vowed to take power by March in six of Mozambique's 11 provinces.