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UN seeks aid workers caught up in Mozambique

Maputo, Mozambique | XINHUA |  The United Nations is trying to contact humanitarian workers caught up in Mozambique attacks while on stand-by to aid residents of Palma town, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

“We always make sure that our presence on the ground, our staff and related aid workers, are protected,” said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“In this case, there were several aid workers in the area when the attacks started. We’re communicating with all relevant contacts to ensure that these aid workers are able to safely leave the area.”

The United Nations is concerned about the violence in Cabo Delgado Province, Haq said. The attacks, reportedly starting Wednesday, are forcing families to flee their homes and leading to a rapid deterioration of the region’s humanitarian situation.

The United Nations stands ready to support the people and the government of Mozambique in urgently addressing affected populations, the spokesman said.

Published reports characterize the rebel attacks on Palma, near a 20-billion-U.S. dollar international gas project, as vicious. Beheadings were reported.

Save the Children said on its website that an 11-year-old boy was beheaded while his mother and three siblings hid in nearby woods.

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XINHUA

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