The port city of Palma, located in northern Mozambique near the border with Tanzania, remains under the control of the Islamists who seized it on Wednesday. This was reported on Saturday by Agence France-Presse (AFP), citing its own sources.
вЂњGovernment forces have withdrawn from Palma, the city is controlled by armed groups of Islamists,вЂќ the source said.
At the same time, he added that the fighting in the area of Palma continues.
A militant group of 100 people entered Palma late in the evening on March 24, the South African newspaper Sunday Times reports. Heavily armed Islamists attacked army barracks and government buildings. There are serious losses on the part of regular units, the newspaper notes. According to him, in the following days, the Islamists killed many people.
вЂњThe entire city beach is littered with the bodies of the dead,вЂќ an eyewitness told the newspaper.
About 50 thousand people live in and around Palma. Many of them fled by boat to southern Mozambique and Tanzania. The city is located on the coast of the Indian Ocean in the province of Cabo Delgado, where the Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabab and the structures of the Islamic State вЂ” ISCAP (вЂњCentral African Province of ISвЂќ) have been operating since 2017. Ten kilometers from Palma, the French energy group Total is building the largest natural gas processing and liquefaction complex in southern Africa, a huge field of which has been discovered on the shelf of the province of Cabo Delgado.
Islamist groups have already captured major cities in Cabo Delgado. So, on August 12, 2020, they attacked and established their control over the port of Mosimboa da Praia. It took government forces several weeks to dislodge the Islamists from the city. According to the non-governmental organization Acled, over the past almost four years, more than 1,000 people have been killed by terrorists in northern Mozambique. In turn, UN experts reported that during this period, more than 700 thousand residents fled from the province of Cabo Delgado to other parts of the country, fleeing violence.