12 South Africans among ISIS-linked group that attacked Mozambique
London, March 29, 2021 (AltAfrica)-At least 12 South African citizens are believed to be part of the Isis-linked group that has attacked the town of Palma in northern Mozambique. This has raised concerns among South African security experts, with many of them calling for SADC to intervene and counter the possibility of any terror attacks on South Africa.
At least one South African, Adrian Nel, has been killed in the insurgent attack on Palma.
Dozens of people are dead following a renewed attack on the town of Palma in northern Mozambique, according to a spokesperson from the country’s defence department. Seven were killed trying to escape a siege on a hotel, said Omar Saranga.
Marine traffic websites showed a string of vessels around Palma, and the port of Pemba to the south, as people tried to escape by any means – cargo vessels, passenger ships, tugs and recreational boats.
Hundreds of others, both locals and foreigners, were reportedly rescued.
The area has been under attack by Islamist militants since Wednesday. Witnesses have described hiding out while waiting to be rescued by boat, on a beach strewn with headless bodies.
There are calls for helicopters that are able to carry large numbers of people to be sent to the area to extract civilians.
Many expats, including those from South Africa, work on the massive gas project near Palma.
Senior Training Coordinator at the Institute of Security Studies, Willem Els, says the insurgency in Mozambique poses a huge threat to South Africa, both politically and economically.
“The Hawks spokesperson a while back also admitted that there are at least 12 of our SA citizens fighting with the terrorists there. That gives you an indication that they are very active in their recruitment here in SA. So, they have their structures here and where they are supporting whatever is happening in Cabo Delgado. Unfortunately, it will have a spin-off in SA; not only on the political front, but also on the economic front as you can see lots of South Africans are working there.”