Volunteer Ships Help to Evacuate 1,000 From Palma After Insurgent Attack

By Peter Fabricius

Many South Africans, some contractors working on the construction of the French Total energy company’s Afungi liquid natural gas processing plant, were caught up in the violence and at least one is known to have died.

In a mini “modern-day Dunkirk” operation on Sunday, a flotilla of private ships of all shapes and sizes evacuated more than 1,000 people from the battered northern Mozambique coastal town of Palma which was violently overrun by jihadist insurgents linked to the Islamic State.

In the confusing aftermath of the violence, the toll of dead and injured remained unclear. Mozambique Defence Ministry spokesperson Colonel Omar Saranga told local journalists on Sunday night that “dozens” of Mozambicans had been killed in the fighting. He also confirmed that seven foreigners had been killed on Friday when a convoy of vehicles taking foreigners out of the Amarula Hotel was ambushed by terrorists. He didn’t give the nationalities of those killed.

Mozambican forces were working to evacuate any other foreigners still in Palma, Saranga said. He made no mention of South African special forces being deployed in Palma to evacuate South Africans, which suggested that Pretoria had abandoned its plans to do so.

Source: Daily Maverick

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