Mozambique announced on Friday, August 25, that a leader of the terrorists in the country’s northernmost province of Cabo Delgado, Bonomade Machude Omar, also known as Ibn Omar, was killed along with other senior members. According to available reports, Ibn Omar and other senior associates from the Islamic State-linked group were killed on Tuesday, August 22, in a forest in Macomia District during a joint operation dubbed Hard Punch. Macomia District is not in the Rwandan security forces’ area of responsibility but the latter have often pursued the terrorists there, in collaboration with forces from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) deployed there. The operation was conducted by the Mozambican Armed Defence Forces (FADM), Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF), and SADC forces. How powerful was Ibn Omar? The Chief of Staff of the Armed Defence Forces of Mozambique, General Joaquim Rivas Mangrasse, announced that Ibn Omar was involved in directing operations since the eruption of terrorism in Mozambique. Some reports indicate that Ibn Omar, a Mozambican Islamic scholar reportedly born in Palma district, was the brains behind the first attacks against police stations in Mocímboa da Praia in October 2017. After finishing high school in Mocímboa da Praia, he reportedly studied Islam in various countries and then returned to work for a Muslim agency in Pemba, the capital of Cabo Delgado Province, before he started his terrorism activities. In Cabo Delgado, there is talk that the terrorists that he led believed that he is immortal. A local administration officer in Palma in 2022 told The New Times how the terrorists think. Apparently, the Islamic State-linked group, in a way, behaves like the Mai-Mai militia in DR Congo who believe they are invincible after wearing raffia and bullets as an amulet - symbolising the power of their ancestors, or whatever they believe in, which makes them impossible to kill. But he didn’t believe that they are invulnerable. ALSO READ: Two terrorist commanders killed in Mozambique Ibn Omar’s death follows that of two other commanders of the Islamic State-linked group – Abu Kital and Ali Mahando – a few days earlier. Kital said to have been the deputy commander in charge of operations and deputy to Ibn Omar. The latter, as reports indicate, was one of the main coordinators of the terrorist attacks that affected Cabo Delgado since 2017, killing at least 4,000 civilians. Therefore, his death undoubtedly is a huge blow to the Islamic State-linked group, and gave so much hope to the people of Cabo Delgado Province who yearn for a total return to normalcy in the entire province. Does putting Ibn Omar out of action end war on terror in Cabo Delgado? The death of Ibn Omar and that of several his lieutenants does not imply that the Mozambican security forces, and their allies, will relax. President Filipe Nyusi on Friday acknowledged that they were continuing to fight and that the war would “continues right up to where the terrorists operate, in small groups.” Nyusi said: “We have said what we have been saying, which sometimes needs to be understood well, that terrorism is not over, nor can it be said that it is over. “But we have said that those villages that were in the hands of terrorists until 2021, all of them, I mean the district capitals, have been recovered by the Defence and Security Forces, with the support of our partners from Rwanda and SAMIM, from SADC.” As reported, Ibn Omar was targeted by the second phase of the Mozambican army’s ongoing operation “Coup Duro II,” or operation Hard Punch II. “Terrorism is not over yet,” warned Mangrasse. The terrorists are currently operating in “small dispersed groups. These groups are the reason for our permanent scouring and cleaning of the bush,” Mangrasse said, while reaffirm that the enemy has been dislodged from all district headquarters that they once occupied. Operations are continuing in coordination with our partners,” added Mangrasse. In July 2021, at the request of the government of Mozambique, Rwanda deployed troops to Cabo Delgado to help fight the terrorists there, stabilize the area and restore state authority. Rwanda’s security forces were to work closely with Mozambique's army as well as forces from the Southern African Development Community. Joint operations by the Mozambican army and Rwandan security forces in Cabo Delgado immediately began in Palma and Mocimboa da Praia, the two districts in Cabo Delgado Province where Rwandan security forces operate. After securing swathes of territory previously rendered unsafe by terrorists, Rwandan security forces and their Mozambican counterparts have so far enabled more than 300,000 people return to their villages and carry on with their normal lives. A few months after the arrival of Rwandan security forces, SADC forces were also deployed to the province in their separate areas of responsibility.