MAPUTO. — As many as 60 people — mostly foreign citizens — are unaccounted for following a deadly ambush on their convoy by Islamist militants in northern Mozambique.
According to recordings of security calls describing the aftermath of the attack, only seven vehicles in a convoy of 17 made it to safety after the attack on Friday, with seven confirmed dead and many injured in the recovered vehicles. Everyone in the other vehicles is assumed dead.
The harrowing details of the attack came after reports that South Africa was considering sending military forces as part of a mission to rescue its civilians left in the town.
Dozens of people were killed in coordinated jihadist attacks in northern Mozambique’s Palma town, the government said on Sunday, four days after the raid was launched and forced the evacuation of thousands of survivors to safety in the provincial capital Pemba.
Seven people were killed in an ambush during an operation to evacuate them from a hotel where they had sought refuge, it said.
“Last Wednesday, a group of terrorists sneaked into . . . Palma and launched actions that resulted in the cowardly murder of dozens of defenceless people,” defence ministry spokesman Omar Saranga told a news conference.
Foreigners were among those caught in the violence, but the government did not say how many foreign nationals were killed.
So far one South African is known to have died during the attack, his family confirmed to AFP. — AFP.