2 Die In Suspected Boko Haram Highway Attack
Two persons have been killed in an attack on commuters along Maiduguri-Damboa highway by persons suspected to be members of Boko Haram.
The Borno Police Commissioner, Mr Damian Chukwu, said a police officer and a truck driver were killed.
“You would recall that since the Maiduguri-Damboa highway was reopened, motorists ply the road strictly on military escort.
“Initially it was only the military that provides the escort, but later the police was invited to join,” Chukwu said.
Explaining how the incident happened, he said the convoy left Maiduguri with the military in the front while the police was at the rear.
“The convoy had about 200 vehicles among which included an 80-seater bus conveying a newly deployed Mobile Police Unit from Oghara in Delta heading for Askira Uba one of the newly liberated communities.
“The convoy also had a burial party of a late Special Investigation Bureau police woman who died last week,” Chukwu said.
“The convoy started moving around 10:30 pm and by 11:30 we got information that they were ambushed around Abari-Dalwa village about 30 kilometres from Maiduguri.
“Six of the Mobile Police Men in the bus were injured, but as I speak to you they are responding to treatment at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital,” he further stated.
Chukwu said that none of the policemen lost their weapons to the attackers.
He, however, said that a policeman in the vehicle conveying the burial party for the deceased policewoman died during the attack.
“A police Sargent Bala Tiishe was killed in the vehicle.
“A civilian, Mustapha Modu, driving a truck conveying drugs for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) was also killed,” Chukwu said.
He said all other policemen in the convoy were unhurt.
Some eyewitnesses told reporters in Maiduguri that the convoy was ambushed around Dalwa village by suspected terrorists using anti-aircraft guns and heavy weapons.
Mr Bala Wambai, a traveller who witnessed the attack, said that it happened around 11:30 p.m.
“The terrorists decided to attack the convoy from the rear after the military escort had passed around Dalwa.
“They specifically targeted a Borno State Government school bus conveying some mobile policemen,” Wambai said.
He said a number of policemen were injured in the attack which lasted for about 30 minutes.
“Our vehicle was just few meters away from the bus conveying the policemen, so we all ran into the bush for cover.
“When we came back we discovered that a large number of them were injured while many were missing,” Wambai said.
Mr John Yusuf, another traveller, said that the attackers were eventually chased away by a combined team of soldiers and policemen who responded to distress calls by the victims.
“We saw them evacuating two corpses after the attack,” Yusuf said.