- Close to the border to Tanzania, the northern region of Portuguese-speaking Mozambique was under a deadly Islamic militant attack this weekend.
- Dozens of people are dead following an attack in the Indian Ocean beach town of Palma in Northern Mozambique, according to a spokesperson from the country’s defense department.
- There are heroes in this incident including the operation at the Amarula Hotel in Palma, Mozambique
Seven were killed trying to escape a siege on the Amarula Hotel in Palma,
More than 180 people including foreign workers are trapped inside the Amarula Hotel in the northern Mozambique town of Palma. The town is under siege for three days by fighters linked to the ISIL (ISIS) group, according to workers and security sources Hundreds of others, both locals and foreigners, were reportedly rescued. A British Hotel Contractor was killed.
The Amarula Hotel was trying to protect and has a record of being helpful to travelers. Here is an evaluation posted before the attack:
My little story entails arriving at this hotel late at night without a booking. I had no means of transport and nowhere else to go. The Operations Manager, Fernando Moreira immediately interrupted his meeting and came to my aid. His team prepared a room and I was treated as if I may have been the most important quest despite no confirmed payment arrangements. The rooms were perfect; however, the food was exceptional. His staff were very friendly and always ready to help. This is a place that I will really like to visit again. Well done to Mr Moreira and his team for achieving greatness in such a remote location. Others can definitely learn from you!
Witnesses have described hiding out while waiting to be rescued by boat, on a beach strewn with headless bodies.
Marine traffic websites showed a string of vessels around Palma, and the port of Pemba to the south, as people tried to escape by any means – cargo vessels, passenger ships, tugs and recreational boats.
Many who escaped the hotel via convoy hid at the beach overnight on Friday and were evacuated by boat on Saturday morning. Civilians living and working in the area appeared to be coordinating the rescue effort.
“Local suppliers and companies, these guys were heroes of the entire operation. In the wee hours they managed to co-ordinate and reach out to the evacuees on the beach and got them onto boats and got them into safety.”, an eyewitness told media. Where the hell was the support from big companies, from countries?” he asked.
One source close to the rescue operation told AFP news agency that a boat with about 1,400 people on board had arrived in the port town of Pemba, which is about 250km (155 miles) south of Palma, on Sunday afternoon.
Aid agencies said several more small boats packed with displaced people were en route to Pemba and likely to arrive overnight or on Monday morning.
The exact number of casualties in Palma, a town of about 75,000 people in Cabo Delgado province, is unclear. Many are still unaccounted for.
The town and beaches are strewn with bodies “with heads and without”, according to Col Lionel Dyke, whose private security firm, Dyck Advisory Group, is contracted by the Mozambique police in the area.
The armed group is reported to have taken control of Palma, but those claims are hard to verify amid a communications blackout.