At least twenty riot police interrupted the final rally of the campaign of opposition party MDM in Beira with shooting and tear gas grenades.
There are reports of three people killed and several injured in the unrest that began at the campaign rally of the incumbent mayor of the capital city of the province of Sofala, Daviz Simango this Saturday, November 16.
In the second to last day of the electoral campaign for municipal elections scheduled for November 20, the main opposition party MDM (Mozambique Democratic Movement) was preparing to make a final appeal for the re-election of Simango with pomp and celebration in Munhava neighborhood, when thousands of supporters of the party saw two cars with officers from the Rapid Intervention Force (FIR) – branch of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM) – arriving at the scene.
While the police tried to drive through the crowd, for reasons that remain unclear they started shooting bullets to the air and, as the hostility among the crowd increased, they started shooting tear gas bombs trying to disperse men, women with babies, youngsters and children who were there to support MDM’s candidate.
Unrest set in and citizens tried to flee in disarray while FIR agents kept shooting.
According to our journalist “three babies, aged between six and twelve months died (…) there are several wounded”.
By the time the assault began, MDM’s candidate was in the neighborhood, getting ready to take the stage where musicians were playing.
According to a trusted source, Daviz Simango is in good health and in a safe place, but his son has been injured.
The crowd decided to take revenge by burning tires in the roads that lead to the neighborhood. Vehicles of supporters of Frelimo have also been vandalized.
The riot police has increased its presence in the area and has an armored car. Some believe that law enforcement are used by Frelimo against opposition parties in Mozambique.
Two reporters of @Verdade had to find refuge in a neighborhood house where they are waiting for the situation to calm down.
Read the article in our new website for the electoral coverage, with a photo gallery of the unrest:
Translated by Sara Moreira allAfrica