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World News

Lives lost and churches burned in Mozambique terror attack

by Heather Preston

Priests and church members have been forced to flee northern Mozambique, following an attack by Islamic extremist groups.

Churches have been burned and lives lost after terrorists raided three communities in the Cabo Delgado province last week, killing and kidnapping civilians.

According to reports from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the violent attacks have led hundreds to flee the area, displacing missionaries, priests and religious sisters.

“Churches were burned, as were the homes of the population,” a local missionary told the charity.  Church workers are said to be leaving the province in a bid to protect themselves and their communities from attack, as the presence of a priest tend to attract bigger groups of people to an area.

However, one priest told ACN that insurgents “have not limited their attacks to villages with Christian churches.”

“As always, they attack absolutely everything, including churches, but also mosques, but they especially target the population and their houses.”

A rise in Islamic extremism in the north of Mozambique has led to numerous attacks on Christian communities there in recent years as extremists seek to establish a strict Islamic State.

ACN provides support to victims of terrorism in the form of counselling, pastoral care, missionary vehicles and community centres.

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