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Clashes in Mozambique injure 50

18 November 2013, 19:01

Maputo - Almost 50 people were injured during clashes between supporters of Mozambique's ruling party and the opposition, hospital staff said on Monday, just days before municipal elections.

The injuries occurred when members of the ruling Frelimo party and the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) clashed during a rally in Gorongosa district, near the country's second city, Beira.

Residents of Gorongosa started to flee the district, national television station STV reported, fearing an attack by fighters loyal to the opposition Renamo party, which is boycotting the vote.

Renamo, Mozambique's largest opposition party, has 51 seats in the 250-member parliament.

Its leader, Afonso Dhlakama, has been on the run since the military attacked his hideout in the bush last month, after Renamo guerrillas launched attacks in central Sofala province, about 1000 kilometres north of the capital Maputo.

The string of attacks raised concern in the nation's central and northern regions, where natural resources expected to fuel economic growth, have been discovered.

Earlier this year, Renamo was blamed for a series of attacks on convoys and railway lines.

The former rebel group signed a peace deal with the ruling Frelimo party in 1992, ending a bloody civil war.

Renamo officials, however, tore up the agreement after the military took over Dhlakama's headquarters in Sofala last month. A senior Renamo leader was killed in the raid.



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