There are reportedly 180 people trapped inside a Mozambique hotel. Al Jazeera reports that the hotel has been under siege for three days. Foreign workers are amongst those trapped in the hotel.
According to Al Jazeera, frightened residents of Palma were forced to flee into the forest as workers from a nearby gas plant, as well as government workers sought refuge at the Amarula Palma hotel.
A worker at the town’s liquid natural gas site, who had been evacuated, said on Friday night, “Almost the entire town was destroyed. Many people are dead.”
According to Al Jazeera, Human Rights Watch said the attackers were linked to a group known locally as al-Shabab. The rights group said that several witnesses had said that bodies had been seen on the streets and that residents fled after people and buildings were randomly shot at. One South African national had reportedly died during the attack.
The attacks are said to have begun on Wednesday just hours after gas company Total had announced a gradual resumption of work at the LNG project. The major project had been interrupted, according to Al Jazeera, by the continued volatility in Carbo Delgado province.
The Mozambique government on Thursday said soldiers had launched an offensive to evict the fighters from the town.
Umm Muhammed Umar