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  • Now the BBC has been hearing gruesome testimony of abductions and beheadings in Mozambique.

  • An Islamist insurgency in the east African nation has driven more than half a million people from their homes in the past year, but aid agencies say it's a humanitarian crisis that the rest of the world has ignored.

  • A BBC team has reached the besieged town at the heart of the conflict, the first international journalists to do so.

  • Our Africa correspondent Andrew Harding has sent us this report from Palmer in Kabo Delgado region of Mozambique.

  • It looks alluring, but below us, northern Mozambique is now a place of terror.

  • We're flying into Palmer, a small town under siege.

  • All roads cut the outskirts unnervingly empty.

  • In town, we find traumatized families.

  • These Children have just fled their village on foot, seeking refuge.

  • Here.

  • Their uncle holds up an ID card.

  • His brother's beheaded with six others at the weekend.

  • We have nothing left now, says Syed Ahmad.

  • The men who attacked our village told us, We kill as we please.

  • We are al Shabaab, and here is Al Shabaab homegrown insurgency, now linked to the Islamic state group with a taste for abductions.

  • and butchery.

  • Its fighters have swept through this region with bewildering speed.

  • A savage, scorched earth offensive.

  • No wonder people in Palmer are close to panic.

  • Food supplies running low.

  • Mom, your son.

  • My.

  • The situation here in Palmer really is very grim, and you can see the frustration and the desperation amongst local people because there's simply no food.

  • And what food there is is incredibly expensive, very, very angry.

  • I'm very angry.

  • I have three days without eating nothing, and I'm here.

  • But I don't get nothing.

  • As we fly out of Palmer.

  • A glimpse of building work for a multibillion dollar gas project Resource rich Mozambique could be wealthy, but the money rarely seems to reach the public.

  • Instead, poverty, resentment and now conflict.

  • We're heading to a makeshift camp for displaced families.

  • In the past year, Al Shabaab have forced half a million people in this remote region to run for their lives.

  • I have You've got a real sense here of the scale of the conflict and also how quickly it's accelerating.

  • This camp alone had about 60,000 people in it three months ago.

  • Today it's doubled in size.

  • The conditions are bleak, so are the stories that people have carried with them.

  • Many Children from our village are here alone.

  • Their mothers were abducted, says Amina Bakar.

  • They took my 14 year old granddaughter, says Alberto Carlos.

  • I can only guess what's happened to her against these militants.

  • Mozambique's government forces are struggling, to put it politely.

  • They've hired private foreign security companies to help out, but both have been accused of human rights abuses.

  • And still, the exodus of civilians continues.

  • Many fleeing by boat along the coast, right on a beach, Fatimah Abdul shows me her makeshift tent, but the smiles hide her trauma.

  • During their escape, her 22 year old daughter was torn from her arms by an Al Shabaab militant.

  • I watched them take her, she says.

  • Then they set fire to our village.

  • Yeah, and so it is that a tranquil corner of Africa sinks into chaos and despair.

Now the BBC has been hearing gruesome testimony of abductions and beheadings in Mozambique.

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B2 mozambique palmer shabaab al shabaab village conflict

Gruesome new evidence of atrocities by Islamist insurgents in Mozambique - BBC News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/13
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