An armed militant group killed at least 52 youths in a village in northern Mozambique after they refused to be recruited into its ranks, local media reported late Tuesday. 

According to a report published by Mozambican news site Noticias, the Defense and Security Forces (SDS) confirmed that the killings took place in the first week of April.

SDS spokesman Orlando Mudumane said the youths were attacked and murdered in the village of Xitaxi in Muidumbe district of Cabo Delgado province, according to the report.

Mudumane strongly condemned the cowardly act and reiterated the government’s determination and commitment to protect

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