Survivors From Mozambique Attack Stream Into Pemba Safe Haven
Muhammad Irfan 15 days ago Fri 02nd April 2021 | 09:00 AM
Pemba, Mozambique, April 2 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 2nd Apr, 2021 ) :More than a week after jihadists staged a deadly raid on the northern Mozambican town of Palma, survivors streamed into the port of Pemba, capital of gas-rich Cabo Delgado province.
The jihadists reportedly beheaded residents and ransacked buildings in a rampage that forced thousands to seek safety in surrounding forests.
A woman wearing a blue denim pinafore and pink face mask sat on the ground at the port, with a vacant stare, one hand clutching a fence, waiting for her son.
Another woman consoled her as she broke down in sobs.
A ferry carrying almost 1,200 passengers, mainly women and children, had docked at the port overnight.
The attack launched last Wednesday was the latest in a string of more than 830 organised raids by the Islamist militants over the past three years, killing more than 2,689 and uprooting nearly 700,000.
Britain's Times newspaper on Thursday reported that a Briton also died in the ambush and that his remains had been handed to the Special Air Services rescue team.
The defence ministry could not confirm or deny the death.
The African Union has called for urgent and coordinated international action to jointly address the "urgent threat to regional and continental peace and security".
In a statement, AU chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat expressed "utmost concern" at the presence of international extremist groups in southern Africa, calling for an "urgent and coordinated regional and international action".
The regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) held emergency talks in Harare on Wednesday to discuss the violence.
"This has heightened insecurity in the area, leading to a serious humanitarian crisis," the SADC chair, Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi, said in a statement on Thursday.
"It is our fervent hope that the perpetrators will be quickly arrested and brought to justice." But Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi on Wednesday played down the attack as "not the biggest", despite its unprecedented proximity to Africa's single biggest investment project.
Total had already evacuated some staff and suspended construction work in late December following a series of jihadist attacks near its compound.
"We are currently in the special area in Afungi and never had a terrorism threat," he said.
Cabo Delgado's jihadists have wreaked havoc across the province with the aim of establishing a caliphate.