Thousands of people at Mocimboa da Praia, north of Mozambique, are living in fear following an attack that left 17 people dead including three police officers.
The attacks are believed to be politically motivated, but Home Affairs Spokesperson, Inacio Dina, has refuted those reports.
More than 50 people have been arrested since the attack a week ago.
Many of the residents in Mocimboa da Praia say things have changed drastically since the attack. They say they are now living in fear.
Reports suggest that gunmen, in different areas, started shooting indiscriminately leaving 14 civilians and three police officers dead.
Locals, including school-going children, have appealed for calm.
“We are very afraid because of the situation. We are not free to go anywhere here. It’s not nice at all,” says one of the residents.
During the preliminary investigation on the incident, four weapons were seized from suspects who are all locals.
Dina is adamant that calm and normality will be restored to the country. He says these attacks are aimed at derailing government’s efforts to bring stability in the country.
Dina says the attackers are offered money to carry out attacks on innocent people and in the process dent the country’s image.
“These suspects are all from Mozambique. Some of them were bribed in order to perform this ordeal. That is the information we have, that the aim was to destabilise the Mozambican government. Initially, at the beginning, we arrested police because they didn’t obey the law.”
Meanwhile, a local councillor, Celmira da Silva, says things are gradually getting back to normal. She says she has visited the affected areas and has reassured the residents. It remains unclear whether these attacks are politically motivated, and authorities are looking into the matter.
Dina has ruled out the possible involvement of Islamist groups believed to be from neighbouring Tanzania.
– By Abongile Dumako