Ten people were killed in an ambush attributed to jihadists in Mozambique’s far north, witnesses said Friday, the latest attack in a region where suspected Islamist extremists have waged a campaign of terror for two years.

Gunmen ambushed a truck near the village of Mbau in the northernmost Cabo Delgado province on Thursday, a witness said.

“The vehicle was bogged down in a sandy road and suddenly unidentified people started shooting at us,” said a young businessman on condition of anonymity.

He said that 10 people had been killed, a death toll confirmed by a villager.

“The situation is deteriorating. People are leaving their villages” for the port city of Mocimboa, the villager said.

He said the attacks had increased since the West African country’s contentious general election on October 15.

After torching the truck, the attackers looted nearby homes and stole food, according to both sources.

Since 2017 Cabo Delgado has suffered a wave of deadly attacks that has killed 300 civilians and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.

The violence has been blamed on a shadowy jihadist organisation apparently intent on imposing Islamic Sharia law.

Little is known about the attackers, who are usually referred to Al-Shabaab, despite having no known link to the Somali jihadist group of the same name.

The government has deployed significant reinforcements to the province after the attacks delayed development of vast gas reserves discovered in 2010.

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