Russia’s government denied it has any troops in Mozambique, after reports that a Russian soldier was killed in the southern African country.
“There are no Russian soldiers in Mozambique,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday in Moscow.
Portuguese news agency Lusa reported on October 4 that Mozambique received military equipment from Russia to help battle Islamic State-linked insurgents. The support will assist Mozambique in defending its population, the agency cited Foreign Minister Jose Pacheco as saying.
Attacks in Mozambique’s natural gas-rich Cabo Delgado province have led to hundreds of deaths over the past two years. Islamic State has claimed involvement in about a dozen clashes since June.
The government is under pressure to contain the escalating violence that could threaten about $50-billion worth of liquefied natural gas projects by energy majors including Exxon Mobil. Mozambique will hold general elections on October 15.
In August, Mozambique and Russia signed agreements on mutual protection of classified information, as well as cooperation between the interior ministries of the two countries.