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Maputo - Mozambique's former rebel group Renamo on Monday said members of its opposition party were beaten up by local police, the latest in a string of violent incidents that have raised concerns of renewed conflict in the country.
The weekend violence came less than a week after government troops raided the party's military base, prompting Renamo to tear up a 1992 peace deal.
“Some of our members were beaten. Some are in hospital,” Maputo-based Renamo lawmaker Saimone Macuiane told AFP.
He did not give details, but a local independent daily, O Pais, said six people were injured in the attack in Ancuabe in Mozambique's northern Cabo Delgado province.
The paper also said the party's local office was torched.
“Members of Renamo who were meeting in their party's offices in the district of Ancuabe, in Cabo Delgado were beaten by community police agents,” O Pais said.
With tensions rising in the country, a local traditional chief said a sudden influx of Renamo members had caused concern in the area.
“We noticed a large presence of Renamo members since last Thursday,” village chief Cassimo Cassimo told the paper.
“We did not know what they were doing and we were worried because we heard that Renamo was attacking in the central zone,” said Cassimo. “We did not want our town to be turned into a Renamo stronghold.”
Renamo members accused the local chief of unleashing the police on them.
“It is bad in Ancuabe, Frelimo (the ruling party) wants to do away with us,” an unnamed Renamo member who organised the meeting told O Pais. “They hit me and stabbed me in the cheek”.
The community police force consists of volunteers who have been drafted in to help with law enforcement at a community level in Mozambique.