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Burning Villages, Ethnic Tensions Menace Mozambique Gas Boom

  • Militants killed more than 40 people since May in Cabo Delgado
  • National government bolsters military presence in region
Barnabe Samuel Mussa
Barnabe Samuel MussaPhotographer: Matthew Hill/Bloomberg
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Women’s cries just after 1 a.m. confirmed Barnabe Samuel Mussa’s worst fears -- an attack was underway.

He and other men from his village of Mitumbate in Mozambique were camped in a dense forest armed with bows, arrows and machetes, awaiting the arrival of a little-known group of Islamist fighters that’s terrorized residents in the gas-rich area 1,800 kilometers (1,118 miles) northeast of the capital, Maputo. An explosive cocktail of ethnic and religious tensions and the region’s deep poverty are fueling the insurgency.