Ramadan struggle in cyclone-hit Mozambique island

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A woman walks past destroyed houses on May 13, 2019, on her way to an aid distribution centre in the coastal village of Guludo on Ibo Island, in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, in the aftermath of a devastating cyclone. (AFP)
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Muslim men share food for Iftar (fast breaking meal) before sunset prayers on May 13, 2019, outside the central Mosque on Ibo Island, in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, during the holy month of Ramadan. (AFP)
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Women fetch water for ablution as they prepare for prayers on May 14, 2019, in Kumwamba village on Ibo Island, in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, during the holy month of Ramadan. (AFP)
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Muzasufa Abakari, 45, the head of the Muslim coastal village of Guludo on Ibo Island, in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, poses for a photograph on May 13, 2019, during the holy month of Ramadan. (AFP)
Updated 15 May 2019
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Ramadan struggle in cyclone-hit Mozambique island

  • Residents of the island, where the majority of the population is Muslim, were left without shelter and with few places to worship with estimates that 90 percent of buildings were damaged

IBO, Mozambique: Muslims in the cyclone-ravaged Mozambican island of Ibo are struggling to observe the holy month of Ramadan as most mosques were destroyed and food is in short supply.
The island on the Quirimbas archipelago off Mozambique’s northeastern coast was one of the regions worst hit when Cyclone Kenneth struck last month packing winds of over 200 kilometers (125 miles) per hour.
Residents of the island, where the majority of the population is Muslim, were left without shelter and with few places to worship with estimates that 90 percent of buildings were damaged.
At one of the few mosques still standing, half of the roof was blown away by wind and prayer rugs were damaged by flooding.
Worshippers gather in one surviving section to say prayers. Female worshippers endure the harsh sun praying outdoors.
“Very few people are attending prayers because mosques were destroyed,” said Muzasufar Abakari, head of the village of Guludo.
Residents search for food to break the fast and survive mainly on high-energy biscuits handed out by aid agencies.
“As Muslims we observe Ramadan but there is no food to eat. On Friday (holy day) there was no-one because there is no wall at the mosque,” said Abakari.
The cyclone killed at least 41 people across northern Mozambique and displaced thousands.
Some people on Ibo have been sleeping in damaged mosques.
“People have been sleeping here because their houses were destroyed. With nothing — from clothes to food — God willing our prayers are answered and we will receive help,” said imam Saidi Cassabo, from Kumwamba village.
Before the storm, Ibo island, a popular tourist destination, was a haven of golden beaches, unspoiled coral reefs and lush greenery.


North Korea calls Bolton ‘war monger’ over missile comment

Updated 25 min 13 sec ago
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North Korea calls Bolton ‘war monger’ over missile comment

  • US National Security Adviser John Bolton called the North’s recent tests of short-range missile a violation of UN Security Council resolutions
  • North Korea tested short-range ballistic missiles on May 4 and May 9
SEOUL, South Korea: North Korea has called US National Security Adviser John Bolton a “war monger” and “defective human product” after he called the North’s recent tests of short-range missile a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency on Monday carried a statement by an unnamed spokesman of North Korea’s Foreign Ministry who said that Pyongyang was rightfully exercising its rights to self-defense with the launches.
North Korea tested short-range ballistic missiles on May 4 and May 9, ending a pause in launches that began in late 2017.
The tests have been seen as a way for North Korea to pressure Washington to soften its stance on easing sanctions against it without actually causing the negotiations to collapse.