Sunday, 28 March 2021 10:35

Staff Reporter.

@Getty Images.

The South African government is investigating reports that a South African amongst those killed in northern Mozambique.

This, as approximately 200 expatriates are trapped in a luxury hotel in Palma following an insurgent attack.

Attacks in northern Mozambique started on Wednesday, several people were reportedly dead, according to witnesses and a rights group, after the attack in Palma near a liquified natural gas site in Cabo Delgado province, AFP reported.

Jihadist militants began a raid on the coastal town on Wednesday afternoon, forcing terrified residents to flee into the surrounding forest as LNG and government workers sought shelter at the Amarula Palma hotel.

Human Rights Watch said the attackers are linked to a group known locally as Al-Shabab, which has no known direct link to the Somalian jihadist organisation with a similar name.

"Several witnesses told Human Rights Watch that they saw bodies on the streets and residents fleeing after the Al-Shabab fighters fired indiscriminately at people and buildings," the rights group said in a statement on Friday.

The Mozambique government on Thursday confirmed the attack on the town and said soldiers had launched an offensive to repel the fighters from the town, the hub of the giant gas project.

The fresh round of attacks began on Wednesday hours after Total announced a gradual resumption of work at the liquified natural gas project, which had been hampered by the ongoing insurgency in the region.

Meanwhile families of South African expatriates in Mozambique are concerned by insurgent attacks in the north of that country.

Some families say their relatives are missing following extremist violence in the coastal city of Palma in northern Mozambique.

They are appealing to the government for help.

Cindy van Niekerk's 21-year old son, Francois, is one of the people missing.

She says he last spoke to them on Wednesday, telling them he was hearing bombing and shooting.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will, reportedly, attend an urgent meeting regarding stand-off between Isis-linked militants and Mozambican forces.