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Dozens unaccounted for in Mozambique after Islamist attack, rights groups say

March 27, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 24.5%. 1 min read.

Thousands of people have fled the town of Palma in northern Mozambique after an attack by Islamist insurgents on Wednesday, according to human rights groups, while the fate of dozens of people who had taken refuge in a local hotel remains unclear.

Maputo, Mozambique (CNN)Thousands of people have fled the town of Palma in northern Mozambique after an attack by Islamist insurgents on Wednesday, according to human rights groups, while the fate of dozens of people who had taken refuge in a local hotel remains unclear.

Witnesses reported seeing bodies in the streets after the insurgents -- believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State terror group -- attacked Palma from three directions, Human Rights Watch said on Saturday.

The attack came hours after the Mozambican government and Total announced a resumption of operations at the vast Afungi project -- north of Palma -- where work had been suspended since January after a series of insurgent attacks.

Video from Thursday obtained by CNN shows helicopters -- flown by military contractors deployed by the government -- passing over a hotel lodge an apparent effort to secure an escape corridor for dozens of people who had fled there as the attack unfolded.

In another video obtained by a CNN, a Mozambican who was also trapped in the hotel in Palma described the situation as "critical," saying "we don't have food, we only have water. "

The source said that fierce fighting between the insurgents and Mozambican forces and police lasted for hours, with private contractors providing helicopter air engagement to push insurgent forces out of the center of town.

by summa-bot

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