Islamists behead more than 50 people in Mozambique

Islamists behead more than 50 people in Mozambique

Islamist militants have beheaded more than 50 people, chopped up the bodies of victims and abducted women in a gruesome attack in Mozambique. 

The bodies of dismembered victims were found scattered across a forest clearing on Monday after a football pitch was turned into an 'execution ground'.

Villagers were caught and killed as they tried to escape the violence while another group of militants set homes alight during the attack on Friday and Saturday, it is believed.  

The attack is the latest in a growing wave of jihadist violence in Mozambique by extremists linked to ISIS. 

Some of the gunmen are said to have chanted 'Allahu Akbar' when they raided a village and abducted some of its women, while others slaughtered victims in nearby Muatide.

Militants operating in the area had attacked several nearby villages the week before, looting and burning homes before retreating into surrounding thicket.   

In one case, more than a dozen men and boys were beheaded by suspected jihadists during a male initiation ceremony.  

An aid worker in Mueda said body parts had been sent to the victims' families for burial.