Bonomade Machude Omar, a ‘most wanter terrorist’ has reportedly been killed by armed forces, as reported by the government of Mozambique on Saturday.
The Daesh-linked militant leader was responsible for spreading unrest in the northern areas of the country.
Also known as Ibn Omar, the militant had led the insurgents since the start of the conflict in 2017, the defence ministry said.
According to the statement issued by the Mozambiquan government, Omar was killed along with two other senior members.
But, the deaths have not been confirmed by independent sources.
The US State Department named Omar as a terrorist leader two years ago, blaming him for attacks in Cabo Delgado province, including the killing of dozens of people at a hotel in Palma.
A month earlier, Mozambique’s military, in collaboration with hundreds of soldiers from Rwanda and several southern African countries, initiated a major offensive against the militants.
Omar and two associates from the Daesh-linked group were killed in a forest in Macomia in an operation carried out with the army’s foreign allies, the government said.
During a news conference on Friday, Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi said ‘it happened on Tuesday.’
According to the United Nations, the violence in northern Mozambique has forced more than a million people to flee their homes.
A multi-billion-dollar gas project has also been put on hold due to the unrest.
The gas and ruby-rich province of Cabo Delgado has been a magnet for Islamists seeking to exploit its lucrative natural resources. Numerous multinational companies operate in the area.
Yet there are high levels of poverty among local Mozambicans, while disputes over access to land and jobs have contributed to local grievances which are readily exploited by militant recruiters.
Rights groups say since the conflict began more than five years ago, civilians have suffered horrendous abuses from government security forces and militant fighters.