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Mozambique - Rebels raid the city, "dozens of people died"

Soldiers in Mozambique. Militants raided the town of Palma on Wednesday, forcing almost 200 people to flee. Photo:AFP


The World Daily | News Desk           MARCH  29th   2021


Rebels who attacked the city of Palma in northern Mozambique last week killed dozens of people, said Omar Saranga, spokesman for the country's security forces. Hundreds of people were evacuated by the army, he added, and others are still being sought. Citizens of other countries are also among the victims of the several-day attack.

"On March 24, a group of terrorists infiltrated Palma taking actions that culminated in the murder of dozens of defenceless people ..." reported Omar Saranga. He added that in recent days the security forces have focused on evacuating civilians from the area and are now moving to "eliminating" militias.

The Reuters Agency noted that it is not yet clear how many people lost their lives or were injured in the four-day rebel attack. The military engaged helicopters in the search for survivors who could escape from the city. Lionel Dyck, whose private security company is involved in the search, said his helicopters have found around 120 people so far.

Saranga added that seven people had died while trying to escape from one of the hotels. Hundreds of people have already fled Palma, most of them on boats, according to diplomats and humanitarian workers, Reuters wrote. The agency said that some of them found refuge in the port city of Pemba.

As emphasized by the agency, it is difficult to obtain reliable information from the scene of the fights. Witnesses quoted by the Reuters agency spoke about the bodies lying on the streets of Palma, some of which were decapitated, and that foreigners were among the victims.



Located in the province of Cabo Delgado, the northernmost part of Mozambique, Palma is the local logistics centre for numerous natural gas projects in the region. For this reason, workers from outside of Mozambique are staying there.

South African Meryl Knox told Reuters that her son was among the victims of the attack. The woman's husband and her other child managed to escape to the nearby forest. They are currently in Pemba. A British contract worker is also one of the people killed, according to The Times.

Cabo Delgado has been the site of a rebellion by groups linked to the so-called Islamic State since 2017, and attacks have intensified over the past year. Jihadists seek to seize key cities in the region. In Palma, there were many refugees fleeing the violence, from other parts of the province, the agency recalls.

The Mozambique authorities have not specified which organization specifically attacked Palma, and neither has claimed responsibility for this act, Reuters points out.


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