Mozambican authorities are searching for 15 Ethiopian athletes who disappeared after competing at the 10th All Africa Games, a spokesman for the organising committee said Thursday.

The group competing in boxing, athletics and taekwondo went missing on Monday and left some of their possessions in the athletes' village outside the Mozambican capital Maputo.

"Their head of mission does not know where they are," the Games' organising committee spokesman, Penalva Cesar told AFP.

"After competing they did not return."

More than 5,200 athletes are taking part in the four-yearly multi-sport championships in the southern African country and Ethiopia's 180 athletes had won 17 medals -- including three gold -- by Thursday.

Police and immigration officials are searching for the athletes.

Mozambique is a popular thoroughfare for illegal immigrants from Ethiopia, Somalia and central Africa en route to neighbouring economic powerhouse South Africa, where they hope for better opportunities.

The Ethiopian head of mission refused to comment.