MAPUTO, Oct 26 – Armed gunmen attacked a civilian convoy including a passenger bus in central Mozambique Saturday morning, killing one and wounding at least ten, a witness and hospital worker said.
“Armed men came out of the woods, opened fire and hit the driver in the forehead or the face,” attack survivor Felisberta Moutinho said.
A source at the Muxungue rural hospital confirmed one dead and at least nine wounded. Moutinho said ten were wounded.
The group of cars had been travelling on the country’s main north south highway from Machanga district northwards towards coastal city Beira when the attack happened.
“They kept shooting at the passengers. We left the bus and fled. Some fled through the windows, others were hit by bullets,” Moutinho told AFP.
She said she ran into the woods with her two children until she found a group of police vehicles.
“A while later we heard explosions,” she said.
“They stole all our things and then set fire to the bus.”
Four people were seriously wounded and six others had light injuries, she said.
“Some children have serious wounds and are now in hospital,” said Moutinho.
Militants of former rebel movement Renamo have attacked civilian vehicles travelling along this stretch of the north-south highway over the past six months.
Mozambicans have therefore taken to travelling in convoys along this stretch to protect themselves against potential attacks.
On Monday, Renamo, which is also the official parliamentary opposition, declared a 21 year peace deal over after government forces of its former civil war foe Frelimo attacked and took over its base camp in the central Gorongosa mountains.