Just In: 35 commuters abducted by Boko Haram on Borno highway


By Bode Olushegun

Thirty-five commuters have been abducted by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Borno highways, a senior security source said.

The source said the commuters were traveling about 6pm on Friday when they met insurgents dressed in military camouflage.

He said the commuters were a 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, a 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 was lucky not to be abducted told journalists that when they got to Garin Kuturu, they saw a massive burning fire and initially thought it was bush bushing 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 have already run 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 required a lot of logistics and the government had 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 spokespersons of the military and the police did not respond to messages sent to their mobile phones.

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