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Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Mozambique army says town attacked by Islamic State-linked insurgents is now secure

The town in northern Mozambique that was attacked by Islamic State-linked insurgents in late March is now secure after the military killed a "significant number" of militants and cleared one final area

Reuters , Monday 5 Apr 2021
Mozambique
People form a line as they wait to be evacuated from near the northern Mozambican town of Palma, Thursday April 1, 2021. AP
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The town in northern Mozambique that was attacked by Islamic State-linked insurgents in late March is now secure after the military killed a "significant number" of militants and cleared one final area, an army spokesman said.

"We have completed the clearing (of the town). It was the only sensitive area that we needed to clear. ... It is completely safe," spokesman Chongo Vigidal said, in comments broadcast by state TV channel TVM late on Sunday.

Insurgents on March 24 attacked the coastal town of Palma, near natural gas projects worth $60 billion that are meant to transform Mozambique's economy. Clashes continued nearby as recently as Friday, security sources say.

Reuters has not been able to verify the accounts from Palma independently. Most means of communication with the town were cut off after the attack began.

Footage taken by TVM in Palma showed a soldier covering a body lying in the street and burned buildings.

Mozambique's defence ministry did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on Monday.

Islamic State-linked insurgents have been increasingly active in the surrounding province of Cabo Delgado since 2017, although it is unclear whether they have a unified aim or what specifically they are fighting for.

Aid groups believe the latest attack displaced tens of thousands of people, many of whom fled to safety in dense forest areas nearby or by boat.

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