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The city of Palma, in northeast Mozambique, fell to jihadists on Saturday after three days of fighting. The group was "well prepared", according to Wassim Nasr, journalist at France 24 and specialist in jihadist movements. </p><div> <p>The city of Palma, located in northeastern Mozambique just ten kilometers from the gas megaproject piloted by the French group Total, fell into the hands of the jihadists after three days of fighting, we learned on Saturday. March 27 from security sources.
“The attack started on Wednesday March 24,” explains Wassim Nasr, journalist at France 24 and specialist in jihadist movements. “About a hundred jihadists began to attack villages next to Palma, then to the west and north of the city, causing great confusion among the military, who were waiting for them in the south.”
The Muslim province of Cabo Delgado, bordering Tanzania and rich in natural gas, has been facing violent guerrilla warfare for more than three years. Palma, where thousands of people fleeing the violence have found refuge, currently has a population of 75,000.
On the day of the attack, Total announced the resumption of work on the gas exploitation site, supposed to be operational in 2024. “This shows that this jihadist group was well prepared and seeks to capitalize on the deleterious security situation that exists in this area. “, analyzes Wassim Nasr.
180 people stranded in a hotel
The surprise attack on Wednesday sent hundreds of terrified people fleeing to the surrounding forest while workers linked to the construction of the gas complex, including foreigners, took refuge inside the neighboring site but also in a hotel. from Palma.
Around 180 people were stranded in a hotel for nearly 48 hours. They were finally able to be evacuated on Friday but some were later killed in an ambush. “There is still a lot of confusion about the fate of the people who were surrounded in this hotel. There have been several attempts to leave, some have failed,” said Wassim Nasr.
Source site www.france24.com