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ISIS Fighters Terrorize Mozambique, Threaten Gas Supply Amid Ukraine War


The Washington Post

ISIS Fighters Terrorize Mozambique, Threaten Gas Supply Amid Ukraine War

By Sudarsan Raghavan

PEMBA, Mozambique — The boy’s scars streak under his ears and circle his neck, dark razor marks left by the Islamic State militants who overran his village. The fighters tried to recruit him. When he refused, the torture began. He was 13.

But the boy’s deepest trauma surfaces when he talks about what happened to his uncle. His eyes dim and his voice gets low, almost disappearing in the breeze.

“They beheaded my uncle that day, along with others,” recalled R.A., who is now 16 and living in a refugee camp. “He was begging for help, but I could do nothing. I was too scared. I could hear the machete striking him. I could hear his screams.”

In northern Mozambique, one of the Islamic State’s newest branches is fueling a brutal insurgency that has raged out of sight in small villages and remote forests since late 2017. Women are kidnapped and kept as sex slaves, boys are forced to become child soldiers, beheadings are weapons of terror. The conflict has claimed about 4,000 lives; nearly 1 million people have fled their homes, separating countless families.

Victims shared their stories with The Washington Post on the condition that they be identified only by their first names, and, in R.A.’s case, by his initials, because his first name is uncommon. They still live in fear of the militants.

The violence and instability also threaten one of the world’s most lucrative deposits of natural gas. As Russia’s war in Ukraine drives up gas prices, fueling fears of scarcity across Europe, northern Mozambique’s reserves of liquefied natural gas, or LNG — the third largest in Africa — are viewed as vital.

Full story https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/18/mozambique-isis-cabo-delgado-gas/

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