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No terrorist camps in Mozambique, say cops
MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE Jun 02 2010 09:25
Mozambican police on Tuesday emphatically denied the existence of terrorist training camps in the country following claims published in a South African newspaper.
"In Mozambique there is no training camps or groups of armed forces," said national police spokesperson Pedro Cossa during a press conference.
(POWER OF FLAT DENIAL!)
The Sunday Times in South Africa reported that predominantly Pakistani and Somali militants were running terrorist training camps in Mozambique's remote northern provinces of Nampula and Tete.
These groups apparently planned to infiltrate and attack South Africa during the upcoming Fifa World Cup, the paper reported.
It quoted a director of US anti-terrorist organisation Nine Eleven Find Answers, Ronald Sandee, who briefed the US Congress counter-terror caucus about terrorist risks during the World Cup.
The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure, which coordinates all security operations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, strongly condemned the article in a statement.
"The security forces can firmly state that there is no known specific terror threat against the 2010 Fifa World Cup," it said on Sunday.
Mozambican police surveillance reported no information about training camps, although no new investigations were launched after the paper's revelations, said Cossa.
"The reports are just speculation of people who do not want the World Cup to come to Africa," he said.
Cossa also denied a link between the number of illegal Pakistani and Somali immigrants in Mozambique and possible terrorist activity.
Mozambican police regularly arrest illegal immigrants who enter the country from the north, some en route to South Africa.
Mozambican police, together with their South African and South African Development Community counterparts, had security under control for the World Cup, Cossa said.
"I can guarantee a safe World Cup," he said. -- Sapa