Belgian woman wounded in Mozambique machete attack

29th March 2014, Comments 0 comments

A Belgian woman was wounded in a machete attack in a Mozambican region which is being transformed by a rush of foreign investment in newly found natural gas, police said Saturday

The woman nearly had her hand chopped off in the overnight attack at a house in a village near Pemba, a city in north Mozambique.

"Police registered a case yesterday (Friday) of an assault on a property in which a woman of Belgian nationality was injured," Capo Delgado province police spokesman Chaaguro Momad told AFP by telephone.

"She was injured by a machete on the arm," he said, adding that she was evacuated to neighbouring South Africa for emergency surgery.

Three assailants broke into the remote coastal property in Ngoma village just before midnight on Friday, attacked the woman and made off with two cellphones.

A friend and neighbour of the victim said the attackers sneaked into her bedroom through the roof.

When she saw them "she screamed, lifted her hands to protect herself and they cut off her hand - almost. It was hanging by a string," said the friend asking not be named.

Brussels and its diplomats in Mozambique and South Africa said they were unaware of an attack on a Belgian national.

The woman, according to the friend, is building a house in the same compound where a wealthy old Franco-Belgian aristocratic family also has properties.

Crime has been very rare in the area, according to locals.

"In the seven years we have been living here we have never had an incident of this kind," the owner of the tourist Ilala Lodge, George Korb, told AFP.

The face of Pemba city, a previously remote, palm tree fringed coastal town, is changing fast due to billions of dollars pouring into the building of plants to process recently discovered natural gas.

Mozambique's vast offshore gas deposits run into trillions of cubic feet.

The country expects that once fully operational, the new gas industry will account for more than 10 percent of the economy.


© 2014 AFP

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