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World News

Catholic nun and 4 Christians killed by Islamic State

by Alex Collett

Islamic state have claimed responsibility for killing a Catholic nun and four Christians in Mozambique's northern province of Nampulaand on Tuesday.

Sister Maria De Coppi, an 84-year-old Italian nun who had served in Mozambique since 1963, was reportedly executed by a bullet in the head.

Several people were also reportedly beheaded in the attack on the Chipene Catholic mission.

In a statement. the IS-affiliated ASWJ jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that its militants, "killed four Christians, including an Italian nun".

A church, hospital, mission structures, a primary and secondary school in Chipene were also destroyed.

IS said it killed the nun because she had "excessively engaged in spreading Christianity", according to a BBC report.

Open Doors' spokesperson, Jo Carvalho*, said: "Christians are heavily affected by jihadist violence in Cabo Delgado and have been fleeing from their homes to avoid being targeted.

"The insecurity has caused massive disruption of the private and church lives of Christians in this region.

"The displaced are not only struggling to make ends meet daily, but they do so while struggling to come to terms with the brutal violence they have had to witness."

Since 2017, the province of Cabo Delgado which borders Nampula Province has been terrorised by armed violence. 

Since October 2017, there have been recurrent attacks in the north by Jihadist militants killing Christians and burning down homes, according to Open Doors research.

Until recently, attacks have occurred mostly in the Cabo Delgado Province. 

However, analysts say that this latest incident fits a recent pattern that has seen militants linked to the group stage incursions further south.

The country's President, Filipe Nyusi, confirmed the attack on Wednesday.

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