Islamic State in Mozambique continues to attack Christian villages, burn down homes


During the first half of January 2022, the Islamic State (ISIS) continued its attacks against Christian villages in the Cabo Delgado Province of northern Mozambique, mostly in the Macomia and Mueda districts. In an emerging pattern, the attacks are often followed by the torching of houses and property in the villages.

Between January 3 and 7, ISIS claimed responsibility for seven attacks on Christian villages.[1] On January 13, the group claimed responsibility[2] for an attack against the Christian village of Citate in the Meluco area of Cabo Delgado, in which ISIS operatives set fire to about 60 homes and the residents fled. 

On January 14, ISIS attacked the Christian village of Pitolha (Kitolia) in the Meluco area, and set fire to about 20 homes. In this case as well, the residents fled.[3]                                                   

On January 18, a pro-ISIS Telegram channel reported on an ISIS operation in Limwalamwala Village in Nangade District in Cabo Delgado, in which at least five people were killed and more than 200 houses were torched, and an operation in Nkóe Village in the Macomia region, in which several homes were also burned down.[4]

In recent months, ISIS in Central and Western Africa has increased its attacks against Christians.[5] Furthermore, Issue 321 of the ISIS Al-Naba’ weekly newsletter highlighted ISIS operations against Christians. According to an infographic[6] in the magazine titled, “Christians Bleeding,” between December 20, 2021 and January 10, 2022, the organization carried out 24 operations in Central Africa and East Asia in which 71 Christians were killed or injured, including civilians and army or security personnel.

On January 19, the pro-ISIS Hadm Al-Aswar media released[7] a poster titled, “Today We Shall Pursue You and Terrorize You.” The poster vows to expand the jihad and the group’s activity against Christians in Central Africa.

[1] See MEMRI JTTM Report: In First Week Of 2022, Islamic State (ISIS) Claims Attacks, Torching Of Seven Christian Villages In Mozambique, January 9, 2022. 

[2] Telegram, January 15, 2022.

[3] Telegram, January 16, 2022.

[4] Telegram, January 18, 2022.

[5] See MEMRI JTTM Report: As Islamic State Strikes In Uganda, Christians Remain Key Target In Group’s Expansionist African Campaign, December 30, 2021.

[6] See MEMRI JTTM: Report ISIS Infographic Details 22 Days Of Attacks Against Christians In Central Africa And Southeast Asia, January 14, 2022.

[7] Telegram, January 19,2022.