The Mozambican government has denied reports of mass beheading by militant Islamists in the northern Cabo Delgado province.

The governor of the gas-rich province, Valige Tauabo, said there were no recent killings in any district of the province, contrary to reports.

He added that the last known killings by the Islamists took place on 6 April.

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The state media had on Tuesday reported that more than 50 people were beheaded by the militants at a football pitch in a village in Miudumbe district.

The gunmen chanted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”, in English), fired shots, and set homes alight when they raided Nanjaba village on Friday night, the state-owned Mozambique News Agency quoted survivors as saying.

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Governor Tauabo said there had only been “incursions by evildoers” who were being pursued by the military.

He added that the government is concerned about the spread of armed violence in Cabo Delgado.

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