A number of ISIS-linked jihadists have been mauled to death by wild animals including lions while hiding out during a battle in Mozambique.
Ongoing conflict in the Cabo Delgado Province of the country has resulted from an Islamist insurgency, with violence intensifying since 2017 over the region's gas reserves.
The Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Project, led by French firm TotalEnergies, started after a discovery of the reserves in 2010, which was forecasted to bring in over $100 billion to the country.
But the plans have been put on hold as the terrorist group – named ISIS-Mozambique – launched an attack on the region.
According to the European Union, the conflict has resulted in approximately 4,000 deaths, 950,000 displacements and 1.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
Since the start of the violent extremist insurgency, people's homes have been burned to the ground as the jihadists rampaged through villages.
In 2021, the government has deployed troops from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to help in a military offensive against terrorist forces.
Africa's Institute for Security Studies reports that significant territory has been reclaimed in parts of Cabo Delgado while a 'semblance of calm has returned in key locations for liquefied natural gas projects'.
It has been more than a year since the Rwandan Army arrived in #CaboDelgado. People of that region are now enjoying peace and security after many years living under the yoke of terrorism of ISIS, thank you @RwandaMoD for again bringing joy to the citizens of #Mozambique. pic.twitter.com/Cg0BW35AYl— HABIMANA Christian (@habichris) September 30, 2022
Though the conflict continues, the military crackdown has also led to a rising death toll of the ISIS affiliates – and not just from bullet wounds.
In the Quissanga District, 16 insurgents were buried, with Bernardino Rafael – Police Commander of the Republic of Mozambique – explaining that while some of the deaths were from local forces, others were down to surrounding wildlife.
We're talking snakes, crocodiles and lions.
Speaking to residents in the northern district, Rafael was quoted by The Times as saying: "Some of them died having been hit by bullets from our forces and others due to attacks by animals like snakes, buffalos, lions and even crocodiles."
BBC World Africa reports that he also said during the presentation on Wednesday, September 28: "They are dying from gunshot wounds... Many of them [were] wounded by our weapons. But even animals also contribute to the death of the Islamist insurgents."
Some died from the wounds they suffered, while others were eaten by predatory animals. It's a small win but a win nonetheless in the fight to reclaim the region and restore peace in Cabo Delgado.
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