British man feared dead in Mozambique terror attack

Philip Mawer is thought to have been killed in the terror attacks with dozens more dead

Tributes have been paid to a British man feared to have been killed in a terror attack in Mozambique.

Described as a “much-loved son, brother, uncle and friend”, Philip Mawer is among those thought to have been killed in the assault on the town of Palma on March 24

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Insurgents linked to the so-called Islamic State group claimed the deadly attack on the port town in northern Mozambique that saw hundreds of people flee for their lives amid fierce fighting.

Philip Mawer is thought to have died during attacks on the Mozambique city of Palma (RA International / Getty Images)

It is believed Mr Mawer died while trying to escape from the siege of the Amarula Hotel.

Tributes paid to Philip Mawer

A statement issued by his employer RA International on behalf of his family said: “Philip was an ebullient, outgoing character who had something of the lovable rogue about him.

“He had a wonderful sense of humour and could be relied on to find a humorous take on the most difficult of situations.

“The family is devastated by the loss and he will be sadly missed. We would like to acknowledge the support we have received from friends, family and Philip’s colleagues in a period of tremendous anguish.”He had been in the east African country for 18 months, managing the building of camps for workers involved in a large natural gas project.

The family statement said: “It was the nature of his chosen line of work to be in the more dangerous corners of the world and Philip’s career had previously taken him to Somalia, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Afghanistan and Yemen.

“His ability to get things done in the most hostile of environments made him a valued colleague.

“Earlier in his life, Philip overcame a period of compulsive gambling and went on to write the book Overcoming Problem Gambling: A Guide For Problem And Compulsive Gamblers, using his personal experience to help others to overcome this destructive addiction.

“He would often receive letters of thanks from people helped by the book.”

The family said they were waiting for formal identification of the body to be completed.

What happened in Mozambique?

Hundreds of militants carried out a deadly assault on the port town of Palma in northern Mozambique that saw hundreds of people flee for their lives amid fierce fighting.

Part of the same attack also saw seven people die after a siege on a local hotel and dozens more have lost their lives after hundreds of militants stormed the town.

Several people were killed while trying to escape the Amaarula Hotel.

Banks and military barracks are among the buildings destroyed – with local witness reports claiming corpses have been left strewn across beaches and roads.

Hundreds of people have now been rescued and were reportedly flown to safety in helicopters while others left in convoy on Friday and many more fled for their lives, running for mangroves and villages.

Those in convoy were reportedly trying to reach a nearby beach to getaway by boat, with rescue efforts thought to be set up by civilians who know the area.

But the attempted evacuation of the hotel has also led to people being unaccounted for.

Seven of the hotel staff have made it to safety, the BBC added.

Since 2017, the death toll caused by the fighting has left more than 2,500 people dead with 700,000 displaced.

The insurgents are thought to have killed more than 2,000 people and displaced an estimated 670,000 during three years of fighting in the east African nation.