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Scores dead in fuel tank truck explosion in Mozambique

At least 70 people were killed in a fuel truck explosion in Mozambique on Thursday. It is unclear whether the truck was ambushed or selling fuel at the time.

Mosambik, Bilder aus Inhambane - Fabrik (DW/L. da Conceição)

Rural energy plant in Mozambique

A fuel truck explosion left at least 70 dead and more than 100 wounded in Mozambique Thursday, according to official sources.

The truck was carrying fuel from the port city of Beira to Malawi when it stopped in the town of Caphiridzange in the Tete province near the Malawi-Mozambique border. Local reports differ as to whether victims were trying to steal fuel from the truck or if the truck was selling the fuel on the border. "Because of the heat, the truck burst into flames," said the Mozambique government.

The victims were taken to the Tete provincial hospital. Children were among the victims of the blast. Government officials were preparing to travel to the site of the explosion to monitor the rescue efforts.

Mozambique is one of the world's poorest nations according to the International Monetary Fund. The government recently increased the price of fuel after the local currency fell against the US dollar.

kbd/kl (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)