The Mozambican government says it is still in control of Mocímboa da Praia district in Cabo Delgado province contrary to reports that the town has been overrun by Islamic State-linked insurgents.Defence Minister Jaime Neto said the Defence and Security Forces of Mozambique (FDS) was firmly in charge of Mocímboa da Praia after repelling a group of terrorists who had infiltrated several neighbourhoods of the district.
He said FDS troops have secured the town although the situation in the area remained tense.
“The state will take measures so that this problem does not spread to other regions,” the minister told journalists in Maputo on Thursday.
The statement by Neto contradicts local and foreign media reports which had earlier Thursday said FDS troops are trying to regain control of the key port of Mocimboa da Praia amid reports that it had fallen to Islamist militants the previous day.
Quoting military sources, the reports said the army was trying to “neutralise” the ISIS-linked militants who were using local people as shields.
Dozens of soldiers are reported to have been killed while the army says it has killed about 60 militants.