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In Mozambique, Palma, a small port town of Cabo Delgado, victim of a coordinated attack by a jihadist group active in the province for more than three years. The group that calls itself locally Al-Shabab launched its attack on Wednesday and took control of the city on Friday evening. The number of casualties among residents is uncertain. Since Wednesday, they are thousands to flee the area where the fighting is said to be in progress. </p><div> <p>According to local sources relayed by two researchers, the Mozambican army is in the process of regaining control house by house. The jihadist group would have withdrawn, leaving a few men to delay the progress of the soldiers.</p><h2>Seven official deaths</h2><p>The only official assessment for the moment, that given on Sunday evening by Omar Saranga, spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense: "<em> Defense and security forces regret to report that seven people have died among a group of citizens trying to flee the Amarula Hotel. Their vehicles were ambushed by terrorists. We are currently carrying out operations to overcome certain hotbeds of terrorist resistance. Our forces show bravery and steadfastness</em>. »
Seven deaths only officially, declaration out of sync with the testimonies of survivors. But communications are almost impossible. And many have no news from their loved ones.
This is the case of this witness who fled to Pemba the regional capital: “ I’m looking for my son. Please help me find my son. I am looking for help, access to means of communication. Whether we can post this on Facebook or elsewhere. Who knows where my son is? »
A message to the authorities
Another survivor, Portuguese, arrived in Maputo, speaks of a trauma, of a nightmare lived in Palma. He said this Sunday that he had no news from his relatives either. We must therefore still wait to know the extent of the violence.
The Al-Shabab group carried out an attack on Mocimboa Da Praia, an even larger city, last August. But since the start of this year, the group has been less active. It was in crisis according to the Mozambican researcher, Sergio Chichava. And for him, the objective of this attack was to send a very clear message: “ We are always here “. A message intended for the Mozambican authorities, but also to foreign investors like Total and also to other jihadist groups beyond Mozambique to obtain support.
Source site www.rfi.fr