MAPUTO: Mozambican ex-rebel group Renamo staged a pre-dawn attack on a police station yesterday after declaring the end of a two-decade-old peace deal that ended one of Africa’s worst civil wars, officials and locals said.
Police fled their post in the central town of Maringue when Renamo fighters opened fire in an escalation of hostilities between the ex-rebels and Frelimo, the ruling party against which Renamo fought a bloody 16-year war that ended in 1992.
“Gunmen attacked the police station but fortunately there were no casualties because the policemen fled the post,” Maringue’s administrator Antonio Absalao said. The town is located about 35km from Renamo’s military base, which government troops seized on Monday in an operation the ex-rebels claimed was aimed at killing their leader, Afonso Dhlakama.
“The situation is horrible here. Early this morning, armed men supposed to be Renamo attacked, and it was a mess,” said Romao Martins, a Maringue teacher.
“For one hour shooting could be heard from all directions and people fled from their homes,” he said. Schools have been shut amid fears of an escalation in violence.