The assailants destroyed houses, vandalised public spaces, and erected barricades along vital roads in Mozambique Cabo Delgado province. It is still unclear how many people were killed or wounded as most residents are still in hiding, and the government had yet to assess the situation.
The attackers were in control of the city until late on March 23-24 when Mozambican authorities said the fighters were dislodged.
But local press reports that the residents are still in shock and trying to come to terms with the attack.
The attack was claimed by an armed group, Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama, or ‘followers of the prophetic tradition’.
This was the most daring attack on Mocimboa da Praia, 90km (56 miles) from a major liquified natural gas project worth about $60bn.
The Islamist militant group has killed hundreds and displaced thousands since it launched attacks in October 2017, according to medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF).
More recently, the terrorist group ISIS has claimed responsibility via its media outlets, though there has been no independent confirmation of a link.