ISIS bragged about "killing Christians" after disgruntled fanatics "targeted Westerners drinking alcohol and wearing shorts" in a deadly Mozambique siege.
Militants were pictured celebrating as the Islamic State claimed responsibility for brutal days-long attack in Palma, with the city all but deserted by Monday as residents fled during the capture.
It is believed enraged youths who practise a stricter form of Islam became upset over locals drinking alcohol and entering mosques dressed in shorts, reports NDTV.
The attack on the area began last Wednesday, with many killed and others left uncounted for as ISIS pursued their bloody campaign.
ISIS has claimed it has “seized control” of Palma after 55 expats including Brits were slaughtered during a bloody reign of terror.
The city of 75,000 people in Cabo Delgado was almost abandoned on Monday as residents fled in panic after ISIS-linked militants launched their attack.
"The caliphate's soldiers seized the strategic town of Palma," ISIS claimed in a statement posted on its Telegram channels.
Palma is just six miles from a multi-billion-dollar gas project being built by France’s Total as well as other energy giants.
Many survivors said they had walked for days through forest to find safety in Mueda, 112 miles to the south.
"Many people fell from fatigue and were unable to continue walking, especially the elderly and children," one escapee, who did not want to be named, in Mueda told AFP.
Others fled to the gas project site, where they are being sent on to the regional capital Pemba.
A brave Brit contractor who shot dead two ISIS militants with an AK47 during the massacre and then hid out in the jungle grinned as he was pictured being rescued.
Nick Alexander, a dual British-South African citizen, spent two nights crawling through bushland before being picked up with his colleague, Niraj Ramlagan, by South African mercenaries at the weekend.
A British contractor was one of those feared dead as Islamic State beheaded 50 people in a siege.
Phil Mawer, 44, has been missing since gunmen opened fire on 17 vehicles trying to flee a hotel complex and break through their lines.
Only seven made it in Palma in Mozambique, Africa, and seven people in them died.
Mr Mawer’s brother Bill said of Somerset-based hotel manager Phil: “All I can say with certainty is that my brother was at the hotel which came under attack and is now missing.”
During the three days of attacks, banks have been looted, government buildings and vehicles have been set on fire and much of Palma has been destroyed.
A security consultant told the Sunday Times that the town was "chaotic and with no real sign of anyone on the offensive… the insurgents are doing as they please".
South African Adrian Nel, 40, was one of those killed in Palma.
His devastated mum Meryl Knox said: "My son's body is still there and I know those savages would have done horrific things to him.
He had spent two days at the Hotel Amarula waiting to be evacuated with his brother Wesley, 37, and stepdad Greg, 55.
There were about 190 other expats, workers and dignitaries also waiting to be saved.
As insurgents surrounded the hotel, a group of 60 tried to make a run for safety in a convoy.
Seven of the vehicles managed to speed away, but 10 were fired on by armed militants.
Human Rights Watch said witnesses described "bodies on the streets and residents fleeing after the… fighters fired indiscriminately at people and buildings".
The hotel was later burned to the ground.
Helicopters carried out non-stop rescues under heavy fire at the weekend.
US President Joe Biden has described the extremists in Mozambique as a "foreign terrorist organisation".
More than a thousand people have been rescued by a Dunkirk-style flotilla of small and large boats.
Officials said 1,400 who fled the region landed at Pemba on Sunday, 150 miles to the south, and hundreds more were due to disembark over night.
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