Mozambique: Dozens dead after militant assault on Palma

Dozens dead after militant assault on Palma
Militants have been battling the Mozambican army around Palma for days. Source: BBC
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Daily US Times: A spokesperson from Mozambique’s defence department, dozens of people are dead following an attack on the town of Palma in northern Mozambique.

The spokesperson, named Omar Saranga, said, seven were killed trying to escape a siege on a hotel.

Hundreds of others, both foreigners and locals were reportedly rescued.

Since Wednesday, the area has been under attack by Islamist militants. Witnesses have described hiding out while waiting for the rescue boat, on a beach strewn with headless bodies.

Marine traffic websites showed a string of vessels around the port of Pemba to the south and Palma as people tried to escape by any means – passenger ships, cargo vessels, tugs and recreational boats.

In an interview with BBC, one contractor said that many who escaped the hotel via convoy hid at the beach overnight on Friday and were rescued by boat on Saturday morning.

He said more people were delivered to safety after him, and the boats would be returning on Sunday to rescue more who still remaining there.

He said civilians working and living in the area appeared to be co-ordinating the rescue effort.

He credited local suppliers and companies as heroes of the entire operation.

”In the wee hours they managed to co-ordinate and reach out to the evacuees on the beach and got them on to boats and got them into safety,” he said.

Adrian Nel, a South African, was killed trying to escape, his mother Meryl Knox told the BBC.

Her husband, Gregory, managed to make it out of Palma – though she said he had to carry the body of their dead son until he was rescued. Her other son was also able to escape Palma.

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