Mozambique Map.

Dozens of people are dead following an attack by Islamist militants on a town in northern Mozambique, officials say.

Hundreds of militants stormed Palma on Wednesday, targeting shops, banks and a military barracks.

Seven people were killed trying to escape a siege on a hotel, said Omar Saranga, a spokesperson from the country’s defence department.

Militants linked to the Islamic State (IS) group are behind the conflict in the predominantly Muslim region.

The fighting has left more than 2,500 people dead and 700,000 displaced since the insurgency began in 2017.

Hundreds of others, both locals and foreigners, were reportedly rescued from Palma after the attack.

Witnesses have described hiding out while waiting to be rescued by boat, on a beach strewn with headless bodies.