French prosecutors probe TotalEnergies over deadly Mozambique attack

French prosecutors said on Saturday they were investigating TotalEnergies for possible involuntary manslaughter in connection with a 2021 jihadist attack in Mozambique that left more than 1,000 people killed or missing. Survivors have accused the French energy giant of failing to protect its subcontractors.

The probe follows a legal complaint brought last year by survivors and victims' families.

They accuse the French energy company, which was developing a major liquefied gas project in the region, of failing to protect its subcontractors when militants linked to the Islamic State group attacked the port town of Palma in March 2021.

The attack lasted several days, claiming hundreds of lives. Some of the victims were beheaded and thousands fled their homes.

The survivors and families say TotalEnergies also failed to provide fuel so that helicopters could evacuate civilians.

Contacted by French news agency AFP on Saturday, a TotalEnergies spokesman reiterated a previous statement saying it "firmly rejects the accusations".

He said the company's Mozambique teams had supplied emergency aid and made the evacuation of 2,500 people from the plant possible, including civilians, staff, contractors and subcontractors.

'Known danger'

The jihadist group that carried out the attack had been active in Cabo Delgado province since 2017 and was drawing ever closer to Palma.

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