Maputo - Mozambique police on Wednesday dismissed claims by
former rebels Renamo that they had killed 36 soldiers and police, admitting to
only one death from the weekend clashes.
"In reality, we had one light injury in the FADM [Mozambican
Armed Defence Forces] and a colleague gravely wounded who lost his life on the
way to the hospital," national police spokesperson, Pedro Cossa, told
state-run Radio Mozambique.
The rebel-group-turned-opposition-party Renamo claimed in a
statement on Tuesday that its fighters had killed 36 security forces in a fresh
outbreak of violence.
It said the killings had occurred in two separate clashes in
the central province of Sofala, a region where unrest flared earlier this year,
more than two decades after the end of a brutal civil war in the southern
Police said there was an exchange of gunfire between one of
its mobile patrol teams and armed men.
Tension have been simmering between the former warring
parties which signed a peace deal in 1992 following 16 years of civil war
shortly after independence from Portugal.
But observers say Renamo could be upping military tensions
as a tactic to pile pressure on the Frelimo-led government amid political
negotiations to resolve differences between the former civil war foes.
Government and Renamo negotiators are due to resume talks in
the capital, Maputo on Wednesday.
The unscheduled round of talks is a further bid to unblock
the stalled negotiations after Monday's peace talks ended without a deal.
Renamo has threatened to boycott November local government
elections unless sweeping changes to the electoral law are made.
As well as an overhaul of the electoral system, the party
wants more representation in the armed forces and a cut of revenues from
Mozambique's fast-growing coal and gas industries.