The Mozambican police have insisted that the gunmen of the rebel movement Renamo, which is also the country’s main opposition party, are responsible for last Friday’s ambush of public passenger vehicle in the central province of Sofala, in which six people were murdered and their bodies burnt.

The murders occurred in Nango in the district of Cheringoma, about 250 kilometres from Beira, the provincial capital. The vehicle carrying eight people (six Mozambicans and two Bangladeshis) was heading for Caia on the south bank of the Zambezi River.

The attack was immediately attributed to Renamo, which has a lengthy track record of ambushing vehicles in Sofala. However, two of the occupants survived the ambush, and they told the independent television station STV that the vehicle was attacked, not by the rebels, but by the Mozambican police and military.

Faced with this accusation, the spokesperson for the General Command of the Mozambican police, Inacio Dina, told the media here at his weekly media briefing here Tuesday that Renamo gunmen wre now disguising themselves as members of the defence and security forces.

“People should be attentive because these men are going to pass themselves off as the defence forces in order to carry out their crimes,” said Dina. “They will disguise themselves in order to confuse Mozambicans when they carry out these barbaric acts. People must remain vigilant because at any time the Renamo bandits are going to use this trick.”

Dina insisted there was no question of real police or soldiers carrying out such ambushes. “There is no doubt that the attacks in that area are carried out by Renamo gunmen. These actions are the work of the armed bandits of Renamo,” he said.