The Mozambican army has destroyed a base used by Renamo rebels, the country’s main opposition, to launch ambush attacks, police said on Sunday.
Renamo, which previously waged a 16-year civil war that ended in 1992, has refused to accept the results of 2014 elections when it was beaten once more by the ruling Frelimo party, in power since independence 40 years ago.
The base in the central Morrumbala district had been used to attack trucks transporting goods, commuter buses and other targets, police said.
Renamo has in past few years staged a string of deadly attacks in the country as it fights to make its voice heard and for a greater share of power.
“Defence and security forces stormed Renamo’s headquarters in Zambezia (in Morrumbala district) on Saturday morning and managed to recover goods that had been stolen in the area,” police spokesperson Jacinto Felix told AFP.
The country’s independent broadcaster STV reported that eight people were killed during the Saturday clash, but neither the police nor Renamo could confirm the report.
Since 2013, tensions have flared between the Frelimo government and Renamo fighters who have again taken up arms in a battle they say is against the Frelimo elite, whom they accuse of enriching themselves at the expense of the country.
On August 12, Renamo gunmen attacked Morrumbala’s main town, torching a health centre and looting medical supplies.
A local police station was also vandalised and 23 prisoners set free by the rebels.
On Monday peace talks between the government and Renamo are set to resume in the capital Maputo in the presence of international mediators.
They were suspended in late August when the parties failed to agree on a ceasefire.