Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Boko Haram insurgents may have returned to Borno highways as they ambushed a convoy of about 140 vehicles along the Maiduguri-Damboa road, killing eight persons.
A reliable source in Maiduguri told THISDAY that the insurgents invaded the erstwhile nest of the militants, Damboa-Biu Road which is surrounded by the notorious Sambisa forest, at Abbari village about 16 kilometres to Damboa town, at about 9:30a.m.
The source, who chose to be anonymous, said two district heads, one from Chibok and another in Uba emirate, as well as a police vehicle conveying the corpse of a policeman for burial at his hometown, were in the convoy of about 140 vehicles.
According to the source, many travellers were made to make a forced reversal back to Maiduguri
The police in the state have however, chosen not to respond to enquiries to confirm the attack as at the time of going to the press last night.
Damboa-Biu Road is no stranger to such attacks as sometimes last year, soldiers were escorting a convoy of about 200 vehicles along the same road.
Due to insecurity along the axis, travellers on the road moving to Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba States had to be escorted by a military escort.
They are made to gather everyday at Molai, at the outskirts of Maiduguri, with an average of 150 vehicles daily escorted by a combined force of the army, police, men of the civil defence corps and the Civilian JTF.
As the escort takes them through the insurgentsâ€™ heavily infested terrain on the lonely highway, they are often left to continue the journey after being escorted to Damboa.
The escort return to Maiduguri with another set of vehicles that would have gathered at Damboa, with the road always close at 6p.m. daily.
It was gathered that the insurgents sometimes engaged the military escort in a gun duel making many to chose to travel to Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa from Maiduguri via the Damaturu highway, a journey that takes the whole day.