ISIS bragged about “killing Christians” after disgruntled fanatics “targeted Westerners drinking alcohol and wearing shorts” in a deadly Mozambique siege.
Militants were pictured celebrating as the Islamic State claimed responsibility for brutal days-long attack in Palma, with the city all but deserted by Monday as residents fled during the capture.
People desperately tried to escape as ISIS took hold of PalmaCredit: EPA
A convoy of foreign contractors was attacked by ISIS militants in MozambiqueCredit: BBC
It is believed enraged youths who practise a stricter form of Islam became upset over locals drinking alcohol and entering mosques dressed in shorts, reports NDTV.
The attack on the area began last Wednesday, with many killed and others left uncounted for as ISIS pursue their bloody campaign.
ISIS has claimed it has “seized control” of Palma after 55 expats including Brits were slaughtered during a bloody reign of terror.
The city of 75,000 people in Cabo Delgado was almost abandoned on Monday as residents fled in panic after ISIS-linked militants launched their attack.
“The caliphate’s soldiers seized the strategic town of Palma,” ISIS claimed in a statement posted on its Telegram channels.
Palma is just six miles from a multi-billion-dollar gas project being built by France’s Total as well as other energy giants.
The Sea Star has been used to evacuate around 1,400 peopleafter armed insurgents attacked the city of PalmaCredit: AFP
Many survivors said they had walked for days through forest to find safety in Mueda, 112 miles to the south.
“Many people fell from fatigue and were unable to continue walking, especially the elderly and children,” one escapee, who did not want to be named, in Mueda told AFP.
Others fled to the gas project site, where they are being sent on to the regional capital Pemba.
A brave Brit contractor who shot dead two ISIS militants with an AK47 during the massacre and then hid out in the jungle grinned as he was pictured being rescued.
Nick Alexander, a dual British-South African citizen, spent two nights crawling through bushland before being picked up with his colleague, Niraj Ramlagan, by South African mercenaries at the weekend.
A British contractor was one of those feared dead as Islamic State beheaded 50 people in a siege.
Nick Alexander, a contractor, was rescued after hiding out in bushland
Brit Philip Mawer has not been heard from since attempting to flee Palma
Phil Mawer, 44, has been missing since gunmen opened fire on 17 vehicles trying to flee a hotel complex and break through their lines.
Only seven made it in Palma in Mozambique, Africa, and seven people in them died.
Mr Mawer’s brother Bill said of Somerset-based hotel manager Phil: “All I can say with certainty is that my brother was at the hotel which came under attack and is now missing.”
Former British cop Nick Alexander, a dad of five who is building camps for oil workers, was in the convoy’s last car.
Survivors said he shot dead two militia while under fire then hid in the bush.
He was one of four Brits rescued by a helicopter gunship, one of five owned by former Special Forces Colonel Lionel Dick, 77.
His fleet has rescued 230 people while under heavy fire.
He said: “These guys are surprisingly well armed.”
“All of our helicopters have taken incoming rounds. Some are very heavy rounds. It’s very lucky that they are superficial,” Col Dyck told The Sun.
Oil giant Total, which has a large secure compound just south of the town refused to give the rescue helicopters fuel because of a policy of not cooperating with armed groups, Col Dyck said.
The company said it had been providing emergency humanitarian assistance to civilians arriving at its Afungi site and was working with the local government.
It said Mozambique LNG, it’s local subsidiary, “does not contract with private military companies”.
Some 100 militants, many with IS flags, control Palma, a mining town of 53,000 near Africa’s largest natural gas field.
Around 1,400 residents were rescued by boats but witnesses said bodies, many beheaded, were piling up on the streets.