The Mozambican army says the insurgent city is now safe

MAPUTO (Reuters) – The northern Mozambique city, attacked by Islamic State-affiliated insurgents in late March, is now safe after the military killed “significant numbers” of militants and evacuated one final area, an army spokesman said.

“We have completed the evacuation (of the city). It was the only sensitive area that we had to evacuate. … It is perfectly safe,” said spokesman Chongo Vigidal in comments late Sunday on state television broadcaster TVM.

On March 24, insurgents attacked the coastal city of Palma near $ 60 billion projects designed to transform Mozambique’s economy. Security forces said there were clashes nearby on Friday.

Reuters was unable to independently verify Palma’s accounts. Most of the means of communication with the city were cut off after the attack began.

The footage recorded by TVM in Palma showed a soldier covering a corpse lying in the street and burning buildings.

The Mozambique Ministry of Defense did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on Monday.

Since 2017, Islamic state insurgents have been increasingly active in the surrounding province of Cabo Delgado, although it is unclear whether they have a common goal or what they are specifically fighting for.

Aid groups believe the recent attack displaced tens of thousands, many of whom fled to safety in dense forest areas nearby or by boat.

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