Many Palma residents ran into the dense tropical forest surrounding the town to escape the violence. But a few hundred foreign workers from South Africa, Britain and France clustered at hotels that quickly became targets for the rebel attacks.
An estimated 200 Mozambicans and foreign workers sheltered at the Hotel Amarula. On Friday, a band of them in 17 vehicles drove together to the beach, where they hoped to be rescued, but the convoy came under heavy fire. Only 7 vehicles reached the beach, according to local reports and messages sent by survivors.