The local police commander told the state-run TVM that after the Islamic State attacked the northern city of Palma in Mozambique (a $60 billion natural gas extraction project), twelve people (most likely foreigners) were found beheaded.
Police Chief Pedro da Silva told reporters who arrived in the city that he was not sure about the nationalities of these 12 people, but they thought they were foreigners because they were white.
He said in a TVM video broadcast on Wednesday: “They were tied up and beheaded.” He pointed out where he buried the body.
When the news broke, regional leaders were scheduled to end the meeting on Thursday to discuss the response to the South African rebellion.
Since 2017, insurgents linked to the Islamic State have become more active in Cabo Delgado, a northern province where Palma is located, although it is not clear whether they have a single target.
The government stated that dozens of people were killed in the latest attack that began on March 24. It is believed that thousands of people have been displaced, but the exact number of victims and displaced persons is still unclear.
The TVM footage was taken in front of the Amarula Hotel, where the rebels have been besieging a large group of people including foreigners and locals in the days after the attack.
Reuters failed to independently verify reports of attacks on Palma. After the attack began, most means of communication with the city were cut off.
On March 26, a group of people seeking refuge in the Amarula Hotel tried to escape but were ambushed outside the door.
The government said seven people were killed, including British and South Africans. Their bodies have been taken from Palma.
The President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, said on Wednesday that due to sovereignty issues, Mozambique will resolve certain aspects of the issue on its own.
The military said the city is safe. National TV station TVM quoted spokesperson Chong Vigidal as saying on Sunday: “We have completed the cleaning of the city. This is the only sensitive area we need to clean. It is completely safe.”