50 S.Africans missing after Mozambique terror attack

Pretoria, April 4 (IANS) More than 50 South African nationals were reported missing after a terror attack in Mozambique last week, the Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans in Pretoria said.

“South Africa is concerned about the security situation at Cabo Delgado in the northern part of Mozambique, and remains seized with the safety of South Africans in that province,” Xinhua new agency quoted the Ministry’s Head of Communications Siphiwe Dlamini, as saying in a statement on Saturday.

“The government can confirm that, with the exception of one person who died tragically in violence, more than 50 South Africans who were reported missing through the South African High Commission in Maputo have been accounted for,” Dlamini added.

He said South African National Defence is bringing back citizens who want to return home.

On March 30, the South African Air force carried back the body of the deceased with his family.

South Africa will attend the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika meeting called by the President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi to discuss Mozambican problems, Dlamini said.

“South Africa, as a member of SADC, will participate in the meeting with a view to assist in the development of a solution that will secure peace and continued development in Mozambique,” Dlamini said.

The attack began on March 24 when about 100 insurgents stormed the strategically important town of Palma in the volatile Cabo Delgado province.

Dozens of people have reportedly been killed while thousands of others were trying to flee the zone by foot, boat and road, according to the UN agency.

The Islamic State terror group, which claimed responsibility for the attack, says it has taken control of Palma and killed more than 55 Mozambican security forces.

The population in the oil-rich Cabo Delago province has been suffering from brutal attacks for the past three years in a simmering conflict that has cost an estimated 2,500 lives to date.

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