About 300 suspected Islamist militants carried out an attack in Tanzania last week, the first such raid since Islamic State-linked fighters began an insurgency in Mozambique three years ago.
Tanzania police said the militants killed a number of locals in Kitaya village in the gas-rich region of Mtwara and retreated to Mozambique
Inspector General of Police Simon Sirro told journalists in the Indian Ocean island of Pemba, without giving more details. Kitaya is on the banks of the Ruvuma river that separates the two countries.
Northern Mozambique is in the grip of a militant Islamist insurgency that has claimed more than 1,500 lives.
Last week, it was widely reported that conflict had spilled into Tanzania, with a number of villagers killed. Siro acknowledged the incident.
“We will continue to confront [the attackers] until we are able to trace their network,” he said in a statement.
Tanzania is working with regional neighbors to “flush out the terrorists,” he said, without naming the group behind the raid.
Islamic State claimed the Oct. 14 attack, according to SITE Intel Group, which monitors jihadist activity.
Militants based in Mozambique’s gas-rich northern Cabo Delgado province have killed more than 2,110 people since the insurgency begun and displaced 310,000 others, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, which tracks violence.
Some of the gunmen involved in last week’s attack were Tanzanians who authorities believe were behind a string of murders in the coastal town of Kibiti in 2017, Sirro said.