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Survivor recounts terrifying escape from Islamists in Mozambique

April 3, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 21.1%. 2 min read.

Internally displaced people arrive in Pemba on April 1, 2021, from the boat of evacuees from the coasts of Palma. - More than a thousand people evacuated from the shores of the town of Palma arrived at the sea port of Pemba after insurgents attacked Palma on March 24, 2021. (Photo by Alfredo Zuniga / AFP) (Photo by ALFREDO ZUNIGA/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNN)A heart monitor beeps in the background when Andre answers his phone, his voice still slightly raspy. He is recovering from a first round of surgery after being shot as he and dozens of others fled a terrorist attack in the northern Mozambique town of Palma.

"We spent the entire afternoon trying to get help," Andre says.

"Some DAG helicopters came and attacked insurgent positions, who were close to the hotel," Andre says.

DAG CEO Lionel Dyck told CNN in an interview on Tuesday that his men became aware of people holed up in the hotel as they were "flying around Palma looking for terrorists. "

"One of my pilots in the afternoon landed at the hotel inside the grounds and told them he would take people out," Dyck said.

"One helicopter did four trips, rescuing six people per trip, 24 in total," Andre says.

Andre faced another night not knowing whether the terrorists would overrun the hotel.

"We tried to get help at any cost, each of us calling their contacts, whomever they may be, but on the other end of the line everyone was unavailable to help," Andre says.

"They were inside the hotel, they could have shot us if they wanted to," he says.

"Around 11. 00 am the helicopters returned and we thought the evacuation was going to resume, but we figured that the helicopters had returned to carry out more strikes," Andre says.

"The first car of the column was an armored vehicle and in that car we put all the women and children and it was the car that was leading the convoy," Andre explained.

"The gunfire started when we got onto the dirt road," Andre says.

Mozambique's Defense and Security Forces (FDS) responding to the attacks said it regretted the deaths of "a group of citizens who rushed into a vehicle convoy to leave the hotel. "

Dyck says they told people sheltering in the hotel that they would be there the next morning, but the occupants decided to make a dash for it.

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