About seven passengers have been killed with many others, including an escort team of soldiers injured, when suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked a convoy of motorists along the newly opened Maiduguri-Biu highway, witnesses said.
A witness, Dauda Pambe, told Premium Times that he was among the travellers being escorted by soldiers from Maiduguri to Biu on Saturday morning when the gunmen launched the ambush attack.
He said: “We were somewhere between Bulabulin and DogonWaya villages when the Boko Haram gunmen opened fire on the vehicles ahead of us in the convoy”.
“The first vehicle was hit on the tire and the driver could not proceed so the passengers alighted and fled into the bush; the second vehicle was a pickup van carrying many passengers, and many of them could not escape”.
“They exchanged fire for sometime as many of us remained in the vehicles ducking to avoid being hit with bullet. When the shooting stopped and the Boko Haram fighters left, we had about seven passengers that were killed and some soldiers too were injured”.
The Maiduguri-Biu highway via Damboa Village, was one of the most dangerous routes targeted by fighters of the violent Islamic cult.
It was recaptured by the country’s military and opened last year.
Despite it being declared safe, travellers are not allowed to ply the road without a military escort.