According to a report by the independent television station STV, Filipe was a newly trained police recruit, and Tuesday was his first day of work at Mavume.
The gunmen were not local people. They had to kidnap Mavume residents who were obliged to show them where the police station and health post were located. According to eye witnesses, they did not speak local languages, but only the official language, Portuguese, and Ndau, one of the main languages spoken in the central province of Sofala.
The Renamo group consisted of 12 heavily armed men, who attacked Mavume at about 03.00 on Tuesday morning. The police fired back when Renamo attacked the police station. Renamo bullets penetrated the wall of the police station and one of them killed Alves Filipe.
The gang then moved on to the health post where they smashed open the lock and stole medical and surgical material, particularly material used to treat wounds. It is thus suspected that they hoped to use the material to treat some of their colleagues who were injured in clashes with the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) last week in the neighbouring district of Homoine.
Patients sleeping at the health post, including pregnant women, fled from their beds in search of somewhere safer to take shelter.
The gunmen then returned to the police station where they looted the police stores stealing items of police clothing and various utensils. They were unable to take any police weapons.
The group also broke into stalls in the local market and stole everything they could carry, particularly sacks of rice and alcoholic drinks.Post published in: Africa News