Mozambique Eliminates Top Islamic State Leader; Anti-Terror Operations Continue

Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi announced on Friday that the nation’s armed forces have neutralized Ibin Omar, a top leader of the Islamic State group in the country. Despite this significant development, both the President and military officials warn that the fight against terrorism remains ongoing.


by Emma Sullivan

Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi confirmed on Friday that Ibin Omar, the leading terrorist figure in the country associated with the Islamic State, has been “neutralized.” The announcement came during a meeting with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who is on a two-day visit to Mozambique.

Nyusi said, “The message is clear: the fight against terrorism continues. Our armed forces, with support from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), have recaptured all district capitals previously under terrorist control. However, terrorism is far from over.”

The Chief of Staff of Mozambique’s Armed Defence Forces, General Joaquim Rivas Mangrasse, elaborated on the President’s statement, announcing the elimination of Mozambican Bonomade Machude Omar, also known as Ibin Omar or Abu Suraka, along with other high-ranking members of the terrorist group.

“Investigations have corroborated that the individual leading terrorist activities since their inception in Mozambique has been neutralized,” General Mangrasse stated during a press briefing at Maringanha Barracks in Pemba. He added that visual evidence of Omar’s elimination is available and that two more unidentified top lieutenants were also fatally wounded.

The operation that targeted Omar was part of the second phase of the military campaign known as “Golpe Duro II.” The Mozambican Armed Defence Forces, aided by Rwandan forces and SADC, have been combating terrorism in the northern province of Cabo Delgado since July 2021.

General Mangrasse further warned that although the enemy has been dislodged from key areas, the fight is far from over. “Rebel groups are operating in small and dispersed formations, making our ongoing search and clear-up operations necessary,” he noted.

This week, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for two attacks on Mozambican forces in Cabo Delgado. The first attack was allegedly carried out via a bomb explosion against Mozambican troops in the district of Mocímboa da Praia. The second attack reportedly involved an ambush that killed seven Mozambican soldiers and two officers in the district of Macomia. Neither of these claims has been officially verified.

The ongoing conflict in northern Mozambique has resulted in the displacement of approximately one million people and has led to around 4,000 deaths, according to reports from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).

(Associated Medias) – All right reserved