At least 13 people died after a sailboat sank during the storm off the coast of Cabo Delgado province, local police said on Saturday.
With 50 people on board the ship left Memba at night time heading for Mocimboa da Praia, 200 km further north, when it suddenly was caught up in heavy weather and had a collision with rocks, told police spokesman Augusto Gusta.
“We are currently recovering the bodies of 13 victims as well as 35 survivors, who are being held by the police for further investigation,” Gusta said.
The shipwreck occurred near Pemba, the capital of Cabo Delgado, where insurgents have been waging a jihad for the last 2,5 years.
Mozambican police suspect Islamists of recruiting fighters in the border regions of Cabo Delgado, and using road and sea vessels to transport them to carry out operations.
“Our investigation into the motives for this trip during the night, without notifying the maritime authorities, is still under way,” the spokesman added.
According to the UN estimations more than 200,000 people in the province have been displaced by the insurgency.