Dozens Killed in Mozambique Terror Attack

The attempted evacuation of people trapped during an attack in northern Mozambique by extremist militants has led to multiple casualties while dozens remain unaccounted for.

Palma province in Cabo Delgado was attacked on Wednesday. Reports from the region say dozens of civilians have been killed. Witnesses have reported seeing bodies in the street and fatalities include both locals and foreigners working in the region

Mozambique’s insurgents are known locally as al-Shabaab, although they do not have any known connection to Somalia’s terrorist rebels of that name.

Reports came in that Palma residents ran into the dense tropical forest surrounding the town to escape the violence but a few hundred foreign workers from South Africa, Britain and France clustered at hotels that quickly became targets for rebel attacks.

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The town is where many contractors have been working for a multi-billion-dollar liquified natural gas project by the French energy company, Total.

Communications with Palma and the surrounding area have been cut off by the insurgents, although some in the besieged town got messages out using satellite phones.

The three-year insurgency of the rebels, who are primarily disaffected young Mozambican men, in the northern Cabo Delgado province has taken more than 2,600 lives and displaced an estimated 670,000 people, according to the U.N.

Mozambique’s government is expected to issue an update on the battle for Palma later on Sunday.

Mozambique’s rebels already hold the port town of Mocimboa da Praia, 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Palma, which they captured in August 2020.

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The rebels have been active in Cabo Delgado province since 2017 but their attacks have become much more frequent and deadly in the past year.

Zenaida Machado, a representative in the country for Human Rights Watch, called on the Mozambican security forces to protect people fleeing the violence and help them find shelter.

She motes that it’s also important that the government move swiftly to restore order and security so that people can go back to their houses.


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