Mozambican authorities have arrested 3,220 people suspected of involvement in illegal mining in Cabo Delgado Province, local media said.
According to DW Radio, 1,634 of those arrested were foreign nationals.
DW Radio quoted the Cabo Delgado Province police boss, Abdul Chaguro, saying “1,561 were Tanzanian nationals. The other 73 people were from Gambia, Senegal, Thailand and Mali”.
“The operation which started on February 9 in Montepuez District, will continue at different points of mineral exploration,” Chaguro was further quoted.
Cabo Delgado which is 1,663km north of Maputo, boasts of minerals such as gold, grenadines, aquamarines, tourmalines, blue topaz and green tourmalines.
Cabo Delgado is the northernmost Mozambican province, which borders Tanzania and is divided into 16 districts, with an area of 77,867 km² and a population of 1,893,156.
The province's capital is Pemba with other important cities including Montepuez and Mocimboa da Praia.
“The main responsibility of the Tanzanian government through the embassy in Maputo is to make sure the law is respected,” DW Radio quoted the Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Aziz Mlima.
“We will make sure the nationals are safe and the logistics for their return to Tanzania is in order,” Mlima said.