Eight construction workers on Total’s Mozambique LNG project gunned down in vehicle

Gunmen have attacked a vehicle carrying workers engaged in building Total’s $20bn LNG project in Mozambique, killing eight.

Three of the vehicle’s 14 passengers survived the attack by fleeing into the bush, but three are still missing, the company, Fenix Construction, told GCR.

The attack happened on 27 June around four kilometres north of the town of Mocimboa da Praia, on the country’s northern coast.

Mocimboa da Praia is just south of the port town of Palma, where Total is building the LNG plant.

In a statement sent to GCR, Fenix Construction said: "The attackers, who according to the surviving passengers, were dressed in a military uniform similar to that of the Mozambique Armed Forces, blocked the victims’ car, and immediately opened fire, killing the driver, whilst the three survivors escaped into the bush."

Fenix said one of the three survivors made it to a nearby village and got a motorcycle ride north to Palma the following day.

"The other two hid in the bush for several days close to the ambush site, eventually arriving back in Palma safely, on two consecutive days – July 1 and 2," Fenix said.

Fenix hired a private security service to collect the bodies of the slain workers for burial in Palma on Friday, 3 July.

The AFP news agency reports that more than 1,000 people in northern Mozambique have died in a jihadist insurgency that began in 2017, but that attacks on workers building the LNG facility have been rare.

Also on 27 June, militants attacked the town of Mocimboa da Praia for the second time this year, temporarily occupying it and causing a mass exodus. A group called Islamic State Central African Province has claimed responsibility for the attack on the town, reports AFP.

In May, the United Nations estimated that such attacks had displaced at least 210,000 people, AFP said.

Image ©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier

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