35 Commuters Abducted by Boko Haram on Borno Highway

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By Michael Olugbode

Thirty-five commuters have been abducted on Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, a senior security source has revealed.

He said the commuters were traveling at about 6pm on Friday before they were accosted by insurgents dressed in military camouflage.

According to the source, the commuters were few kilometres away from Maiduguri and were rushing to meet the 6pm window allowed for vehicles to get into troubled Maiduguri.

Vehicles are always not allowed passage into Maiduguri as the highway leading into the town from Damaturu, which has a gate at Njimtilo, few kilometres into the town is locked at 6pm.

The source said the insurgents abducted the victims after attacking a large convoy of commuters near Garin Kuturu in Jakana on Friday evening.

One of those who claimed to have escaped being abducted told journalists that when they got to Garin Kuturu, they saw a massive fire and initially thought it was bush fire but on getting closer saw that a big truck was set ablaze by hoodlums many of who were dressed in military camouflage.

He said it was already too late for some of them as they had already ran into the ambush.

He said: “All we could see is the insurgents storming towards us, before most vehicles could make a U-turn, the insurgents had already caught up with many.

“Some of the passengers however were able to flee into the bush, but about 35 persons were abducted, two private vehicles and one truck were set ablaze.”

The source added that some vehicles were abandoned as the insurgents took to their heels with many fleeing into the bush.

A security source, who spoke to our correspondent, said no search had been put in place for the abducted persons yet.

He said that this kind of search requires a lot of logistics and the government has not assisted with the needed logistics to go after the insurgents.

All attempts to get official confirmation of the incident was not successful as the spokesperson of the military and the police did not respond to messages sent to their mobile phones to seek confirmation.