More than 20 killed in Mozambique gunbattle


More than 20 people were killed in a shootout at the weekend between Mozambican forces and gunmen in a convoy carrying the leader of the main opposition party, a government spokesman said on Tuesday.

Mouzinho Saide said armed men in a convoy of vehicles carrying Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the opposition Renamo party, opened fire on a minibus taxi carrying civilians.
“The Defense and Security Forces were sent to the scene, were confronted by shots coming from Renamo men. They fired back, killing the shooters,” he said, adding 23 people had been killed.

Renamo officials said the attack on its members was an ambush.

Earlier this month, local media said Dhlakama had escaped without injury after his convoy was attacked by gunmen as he returned from a rally.

Renamo waged a 16-year civil war against the ruling Frelimo party, which ended with a 1992 peace agreement. Tensions have resurfaced in the last few years, including in the run-up to fractious national elections last October, which Renamo lost.