A BRITISH man has been killed and 40 expats are missing after ISIS gunmen ambushed a convoy fleeing a bloody hotel siege in Mozambique.
A convoy of foreign contractors was attacked by Islamic State fanatics in Palma, northern Mozambique yesterday.
A convoy of foreign contractors was attacked by ISIS militants in Mozambique yesterdayCredit: BBC
An SOS message was left outside a hotel where ISIS insurgents targeted expatsCredit: Twitter
Dozens of expats were killed or missing – with Brits among them – after the ambush outside a hotel in Palma, near Africa’s biggest gas project.
Dozens of people, including young children, have been slaughtered during the five-day siege of the mining town.
Others are believed to be possibly being held hostage by the ISIS insurgents, the Sunday Times reported.
Eyewitnesses claimed dead bodies – many of them beheaded – were piling up.
Around two hundred ex-pat workers had been holed up in the Amarula Palma Hotel.
The British man, who has not been named, was killed when he tried to break the siege by smashing through the rebel lines in a convoy of 17 cars.
At least 40 expats, including British, French and South African nationals, are still missing.
A Foreign Office spokesperson told the BBC: “Our High Commission in Maputo is in direct contact with authorities in Cabo Delgado to urgently seek further information on these reports.”
Omar Saranga, a spokesman for the Mozambican Ministry of Defence, said “dozens of defenceless people” had been massacred in the violence.
“The defence and security forces registered the loss of seven lives of a group of citizens that left the Amarula hotel in a convoy that was ambushed by the terrorists,” he added.
The French oil giant Total announced it was suspending operations at Africa’s largest natural gas field nearby. The project is worth £14 billion.
The British government has backed the development with a £1 billion loan.
Thousands of local residents fled their homes and hid in the surrounding countryside.
Relatives of the missing are furious that there was not a proper evacuation plan.
There have been warnings that Palma would be a target for insurgents in the area.
The whole town of 53,000 people is under the control of 100 militants – many holding ISIS flags – after attacks began on Wednesday.
Two Brits were among a group who were rescued by South African mercenaries in forests in Palma.
British contractors are still working at the gas site, which is operated by French company Total.
During the three days of attacks, banks have been looted, government buildings and vehicles have been set on fire and much of Palma has been destroyed.
A security consultant told the Sunday Times that the town was “chaotic and with no real sign of anyone on the offensive… the insurgents are doing as they please”.
South African Adrian Nel, 40, was one of those killed in Palma.
His devastated mum Meryl Knox said: “My son’s body is still there and I know those savages would have done horrific things to him.
He had spent two days at the Hotel Amarula waiting to be evacuated with his brother Wesley, 37, and stepdad Greg, 55.
There were about 190 other expats, workers and dignitaries also waiting to be saved.
As insurgents surrounded the hotel, a group of 60 tried to make a run for safety in a convoy.
Seven of the vehicles managed to speed away, but 10 were fired on by armed militants.
Human Rights Watch said witnesses described “bodies on the streets and residents fleeing after the… fighters fired indiscriminately at people and buildings”.
The hotel was later burned to the ground.
Helicopters carried out non-stop rescues under heavy fire yesterday.
US President Joe Biden has described the extremists in Mozambique as a “foreign terrorist organisation”.
More than a thousand people have been resuced by a Dunkirk-style flotilla of small and large boats.
Officials said 1400 who fled the region landed at Pemba yesterday, 150 miles to the south, and hundreds more were due to disembark over night.
South African Adrian Nel, 40, was one of those killed in PalmaCredit: Facebook
Much of Palma has been destroyed by ISIS militants (stock image of Palma)Credit: AFP
Missing Brits are feared to have been taken hostage by ISIS (stock image)Credit: AFP