The family of a British contractor, Philip Mawer, that’s been missing since ISIS militants attacked the town of Palma in northern Mozambique just over a week ago says they presume he has died.
Dozens of people were killed and hundreds are still unaccounted for following the days-long attack by the ISIS-affiliated group on a convoy that was leaving a hotel in Mozambique.
When the attack on Palma began on March 24, the insurgents came from three directions in a well-planned operation. Some of the assailants wore military uniforms, according to regional security sources, confusing the small number of troops based there.
The group deliberately targeted foreign workers, dozens of whom were trapped at the Amarula Hotel on the town’s northern outskirts.
Philip Mawer’s relatives now say they have been made aware that a body matching his description had been found but were awaiting confirmation.
“We understand that a formal process of identification is necessary before we can know for sure whether the body is Philip’s,” the family statement said.
“It appears that Philip died while trying to escape from the siege by ISIS-linked insurgents of the Amarula Hotel near Palma.”
Mawer’s family described him as an “ebullient, outgoing character who had something of the lovable rogue about him,” adding that “he had a wonderful sense of humour and could be relied on to find a humorous take on the most difficult of situations.”
“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 family said.
“His ability to get things done in the most hostile of environments made him a valued colleague.”
Due to the terror threat being faced in the country, a ferry carrying about 1,200 people evacuated from northern Mozambique and arrived Thursday, April 1 in the port of Pemba, capital of Cabo Delgado Province, according to aid agencies and local journalists.