Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Several travellers were abducted yesterday on Maiduguri-Damaturu highway as suspected Boko Haram fighters laid siege to travellers on the major highway from Yobe State to troubled Borno State.
THISDAY gathered in Maiduguri that the insurgents ambushed commercial vehicles plying the highway yesterday afternoon and abducted many passengers.
One of the travellers, who was fortunate not to be among those abducted, told THISDAY that vehicles were stopped by the insurgents, with the passengers dragged out and taken away along the bush path.
He said the heavy armed insurgents took position on the Highway at Garin- Kuturu near Auno, Konduga Local Government Area, of Borno State, few kilometres from Maiduguri the capital.
He said some of them had to disembark from their vehicles and ran back towards Damaturu where they were initially travelling from.
“When we saw that the insurgents have been cleared off the highways, we trekked back to join our vehicles and started our journey into Maiduguri,” he said.
Another passenger said “we are very close to the scene of the attack, but the sound of gunshots alerted us and our driver had to immediately reverse the vehicle and headed back to Benisheik town.”
One other passenger also disclosed that “we left Damaturu to Maiduguri around 12pm after we passed Mainok town and at were a village called Gari Kuturu, just few kilometres to Maiduguri; we started hearing gunshots all over the bush and our driver immediately sped off on high speed.”
A credible source within the military told THISDAY on phone that the Nigerian Army engaged the Boko Haram for about an hour, dispersed them from the Highway and clear the road and escorted travelers into Maiduguri.
A driver with Borno Express Company, Borno State Government owned transport outfit, who chose to remain anonymous said many vehicles were left on the highway as passengers fled in different direction into the bush.