Reports from Mozambique on Friday, August 25, indicate that a top commander of an Islamist insurgency has been killed in the country’s northern province of Cabo Delgado.
According to media reports from the southern African country, Bonomade Machude Omar, also known as Ibn Omar or Abu Suraka, who was the main coordinator of terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, was killed on Tuesday, August 22, while in combat in Quiterajo, in Macomia District.
Omar led the Islamic State-linked Ahlu-Sunnah wal Jama’a (ASWJ) group.
He was neutralised during operations carried out by the Mozambican Armed Defence Forces (FADM), Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF), and the SAMIM, a mission of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The confirmation of Omar’s death follows that of two other terrorist commanders – Abu Kital and Ali Mahando – who also held key positions in the Islamist group, according to local media.
The Mozambican army said Omar had been the main leader of terrorist attacks that affected Cabo Delgado since 2017, killing at least 4,000 civilians.
Joint military operations by the Mozambican army, Rwandan, and SADC forces in Cabo Delgado began in July 2021.
Although the terrorists have been dislodged from most key strongholds, FADM Chief of Staff Gen Joaquim Rivas Mangrasse said the war against terrorism was still ongoing, according to Mozambican media.
At the request of the Mozambican government, in July 2021 Rwanda deployed military and police officers. They have since secured key rebel strongholds in the districts of Mocimboa da Praia, Palma, and Macomia.