ISIS-linked terrorists are beheading children as young as 11, aid agency reports

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Islamist militants who have pledged their allegiance to terror cell ISIS are said to be beheading children as young as 11 in Mozambique, a shocking report claims.

The crimes have been reported by aid agency Save the Children, with one mother telling them she had to watch her 12-year-old son be killed as she hid with her other children.

More than 2,500 people have been killed and 700,000 have fled their homes since an Islamist insurgency began in the country's northern province of Cabo Delgado in 2017.

The militants have pledged allegiance to ISIS and Save the Children told of the gruesome scenes.

One mother, whose name has been withheld to protect her identity, said: "That night our village was attacked and houses were burned.

"When it all started, I was at home with my four children. We tried to escape to the woods but they took my eldest son and beheading him.

"We couldn't do anything because we would be killed too."

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Another woman said her son had been killed by the militants while she and her other three kids had been forced to flee.

She said: "After my 11-year-old son was killed, we understood that it was no longer safe to stay in my village. We fled to my father's house in another village, but a few days later the attacks started there too.

Chance Briggs, Save the Children's country director in Mozambique, said the reports of attacks on children "sicken us to our core".

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He said: "Our staff have been brought to tears when hearing the stories of suffering told by mothers in displacement camps."

The insurgents are known locally as al-Shabab, a jihadist group based in East Africa and Yemen that was pledged its allegiance to ISIS.

The terror cell sees the insurgents as being part of what it calls its Central Africa Province. It released images last year showing fighters in Cabo Delgado with AK-47 rifles and rocket propelled grenades.

This alarmed counter-terrorism experts, as it suggested that global jihadists were exploiting a local insurgency for their own gains.

  • ISIS
  • Terror

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