Gunmen on Thursday attacked a bus, killing three people, in an area of central Mozambique that lies near a base of an armed group that opposes the country’s upcoming elections, vote monitors said.
“The attack took place in the Pungue region, bordering the Gorongosa district and Nhamatanda,” said the Centre for Public Integrity, a local anti-graft watchdog that has an electoral observation mission in the area.
The bus was travelling from northern Nampula city to the capital Maputo when it came under assault.
The attack occurred near the base of the Junta Militar da Renamo, an armed breakaway faction of the Renamo rebel group.
Militar da Renamo has refused to recognise Ossufo Momade, elected Renamo president last year after the death of veteran leader Afonso Dhlakama, and opposes upcoming elections on October 15.
In August, Momade sealed a historic peace treaty with the government that paved the way to Renamo’s participation in the vote.
Police confirmed the attack but refused to speculate on the identity of perpetrators, saying they were still investigating.
“We have confirmation of the attack but at this moment we cannot say who are the assailants,” Daniel Macuacua, police spokesman for Sofala province told AFP by phone.
Thursday’s attack is the fourth on the region’s highways since the official start of the election campaign on August 31. There have been no arrests.
After Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975, Renamo fought a brutal civil war against the Frelimo government that left a million people dead before fighting stopped in 1992.