Islamic State group says seized Mozambique town of Palma
"The caliphate's soldiers seize the strategic town of Palma" after three days of fighting, the group said in a statement on its Telegram channels.
It said it had attacked military and government targets in an offensive that killed dozens, including troops and "members of Crusader states" - Western nationals.
Militants raided Palma, a town of around 75,000 in the province of Cabo Delgado, on Wednesday in a major escalation of an Islamist insurgency that has steadily spread across northern Mozambique since 2017.
Security sources told AFP on Saturday that Islamist militants had seized control of the town.
The government said dozens were killed in the coordinated attack, including seven people caught in an ambush during an operation to evacuate them from a hotel where they had sought refuge.
Palma was all but deserted on Monday after thousands of residents abandoned their homes and fled by road, boat and on foot.
The defence ministry said late Sunday that the security forces had "reinforced their operational strategy to contain the criminal attacks of terrorists and restore normality in Palma".