By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Two persons were killed in an ambush by suspected Boko Haram insurgents around Dalwa village in Borno State on Tuesday.
Some eyewitnesses told THISDAY that a convoy of over a hundred vehicles being escorted by the military and policemen was ambushed around Dalwa village by suspected terrorists using anti-aircraft guns and heavy weapons.
One of the travellers, Idris Abdullahi, who witnessed the incident, said: “The terrorists attacked the convoy from the rear after the military escort had passed around Dalwa.
“They targeted a Borno State Government school bus conveying some mobile police men.”
He revealed that a number of policemen were injured in the attack which lasted about 30 minutes.
“Our vehicle was just a few metres away from the bus conveying the policemen, so we all ran to the bush for cover,” he added.
He said when the attack was over, they came out of their hiding place, adding: “We discovered that a large number of them (policemen) were injured while many were missing.”
Another traveller, Paul Mshelizza, said when the terrorists 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.”
He added that: “But no one can say specifically how many people were injured.”
The Borno Police Commissioner, Mr Damian Chukwu, confirmed on Tuesday night that two persons were killed in the highway ambush, explaining that the dead persons included a police man and a truck driver.
He said: “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 were invited to join.”
He said that the convoy on Tuesday left Maiduguri with the military in the front while the police were at the rear as usual.
“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 SIB police woman who died last week,” Chukwu said.
He added:” The convoy started moving around 10:30pm and by 11:30 we got information that they were ambushed around Abari-Dalwa village about 30 kilometres from Maiduguri.
“Six of the mobile policemen in the bus were injured, but as I speak to you they are responding to treatment at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.”
Chukwu said that none of the policemen lost their weapons to the attackers.
He lamented that a policeman in the vehicle conveying the burial party for the deceased policewoman died during the attack.
He said: “A police Sgt. Bala Tiishe was killed in the vehicle. A civilian Mustapha Modu driving a truck conveying drugs for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) was also killed.”
He further revealed that all other policemen in the convoy were unhurt.