Emmanuel Macron says ‘Islamist terrorism is an international threat that needs an international response’ as he condemns attack that left 50 victims beheaded in Mozambique
- France’s President has faced anger for comments after the death of Samuel Paty
- Paty, a French school teacher, was beheaded last month by an Islamist extremist
- In Mozambique, Victims were killed and dismembered on an ‘execution ground’
- Other villagers were caught and killed as they tried to escape the massacre
- The massacre is the latest in growing wave of violence by ISIS-linked extremists
French President Emmanuel Macron said ‘Islamist terrorism is an international threat that needs an international response’ in a tweet on Wednesday.
His comments came as he condemned an attack that left 50 victims beheaded in Mozambique over the weekend.
Islamist militants chopped up the bodies of victims and abducted women in a gruesome attack in southern African nation.
‘In Mozambique, more than 50 people have been beheaded, women kidnapped, villages looted and then set on fire,’ Macron wrote on Twitter.
‘Barbarians hijack a religion of peace to sow terror: Islamist terrorism is an international threat that calls for an international response.’
Recent comments from Macron speaking out against Islamist terrorism in the wake of the murder of Samuel Paty – a french teacher who was beheaded last month – have made him the target of anger from corners of the Muslim world.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments come after 50 people were beheaded in Mozambique in an attack by Islamist militants. A terror attack in France last month was followed by a wave of anger against Macron (pictured next to Thomas Paty’s coffin in Paris on October 21) in the Muslim world for his comments defending the freedom of speech
Paty was beheaded by 18-year-old Abdoulakh Anzorov, a Chechen extremist who attacked Paty in the Paris suburbs on October 16.
He was targeted after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class during a lesson on free speech, drawing anger from Muslim parents.
In the wake of the attack, Macron hailed Paty as a ‘quiet hero’ and paid tribute to France’s teachers while vowing to defend freedom of expression.
In response, Macron’s image has been burned in effigy during angry protests.
In Mozambique, bodies of dismembered victims were found scattered across a forest clearing on Monday after a football pitch was turned into an ‘execution ground’.
Villagers were caught and killed as they tried to escape the violence while another group of militants set homes alight during the attack on Friday and Saturday, it is believed.
The attack is the latest in a growing wave of jihadist violence in Mozambique by extremists linked to ISIS.
Islamist militants in Mozambique (file photo) beheaded more than 50 people, chopped up the bodies of victims and abducted women in a gruesome attack in Mozambique on Monday
Some of the gunmen are said to have chanted ‘Allahu Akbar’ when they raided a village and abducted some of its women, while others slaughtered victims in nearby Muatide, according to BBC News.
As many as 4,000 militants are thought to be fighting against Mozambique’s government and other groups as the Islamists try to establish a ‘caliphate’.
‘They burnt the houses then went after the population who had fled to the woods and started with their macabre actions,’ a Mozambique police chief said, according to The Times.
Militants operating in the area had attacked several nearby villages the week before, looting and burning homes before retreating into surrounding thicket.
In one case, more than a dozen men and boys were beheaded by suspected jihadists during a male initiation ceremony.
‘Police learned of the massacre committed by the insurgents through reports of people who found corpses in the woods,’ said an officer in the Mueda district.
Samuel Paty (pictured), a French school teacher, was beheaded on October 16 by 18-year-old Abdoulakh Anzorov, a Chechen extremist, after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class during a lesson on free speech
‘It was possible to count 20 bodies spread over an area of about 500 metres,’ he added.
‘These were young people who were at an initiation rite ceremony accompanied by their advisers.’
An aid worker in Mueda said body parts had been sent to the victims’ families for burial.
‘Funerals were held in an environment of great pain,’ said the worker. ‘The bodies were already decomposing and couldn’t be shown to those present.’
Jihadists have caused havoc in the province over the past three years, ravaging villages and towns as part of their insurgency in the province of Cabo Delgado.
The gas-rich northern province is home to $60billion worth of energy developments, but the region’s mostly Muslim inhabitants have seen little of the money and the area is feared to be a recruiting ground for extremists.
In March, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack just south of some of the gas projects being developed by the likes of Exxon Mobil and Total.
The UK is thought to be providing a loan of up to £1billion for one gas pipeline project in the African country.
Mozambique soldiers patrol the northern town of Mocimboa da Praia before it was taken over by ISIS militants amid an ongoing insurgency
The militants have stepped up their offensive in recent months and violently seized swathes of territory, terrorising citizens in the process.
In April, jihadists shot dead and beheaded more than 50 youths for allegedly refusing to join their ranks.
ISIS has also warned South Africa that it could face retaliation from jihadists if it tried to intervene and shore up Mozambique’s government.
The unrest has killed over 2,000 people since 2017, more than half of them civilians, according to the US-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data group.
Over 400,000 others have been displaced by the conflict and sought refuge in nearby towns and cities.
Around 10,000 people fled to the provincial capital Pemba via boat over the past week alone, Doctors Without Borders said Tuesday, raising concerns over access to clean water and sanitation.
Little is known about Mozambique’s jihadists, who call themselves Al-Shabab – although they have no known links to the group of that name operating in Somalia.
Last year the militants pledged allegiance to ISIS.
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