Initially publicity shy, the group now claims responsibility for attacks on hospitals and police stations and identify themselves as Ansar al-Sunna, a branch of the Islamic State group.

The biggest shock to Mozambican society came in April when the terrorists tried to recruit a group of 52 young people who, after refusing to join the cause, were all beheaded.

Although the group triggered a crisis in Mozambique which has involved regional countries and threatened business interests in the province, its reign of terror has largely gone unnoticed outside Africa.

There are several factors at play here. The destabilization of the province not only encourages illegal activities such as drug trafficking and the theft of minerals, but has strengthened the hands of the international gas companies who want their investments protected.

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