Mozambique News Agency

AIM Reports


Riots: looting in Beira

Maputo, 3 Sept (AIM) – Groups of looters attacked stalls in the main markets of the central Mozambican city of Beira on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, according to a report in Friday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”.

These disturbances appear to be a copycat reaction to Wednesday’s widespread rioting and looting in Maputo.

The Beira disturbances were centred on two large markets, Maquinino and Goto. Stallholders were seen fleeing from the markets, carrying their goods. Nearby schools shut down and sent their pupils home.

Hearing the news from Maputo, many Beira shopkeepers, fearing the spread of the riots, closed their establishments as a precautionary measure. Many shops remained closed on Thursday, and only after midday did the minibuses that provide passenger transport venture onto the city streets.

The police intervened but, unlike the situation in Maputo, there are so far no reports of deaths or injuries in clashes between police and the Beira looters. The press officer in the Sofala provincial police command, Mateus Mazive, assured reporters on Thursday that the situation was under control.

But nervous policemen arrested a “Noticias” photographer, Fortunato Vicente, accusing him of being a ringleader in the disturbances. Vicente was dragged off to a Beira police station, but was released when he proved that he was a media professional.


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