Two killed, many missing as Boko Haram ambushes military, police convoy

Nigerian Army
Nigerian Army

At least one police officer and a Borno State government truck driver were confirmed dead on Tuesday night after gunmen believed to be Boko Haram fighters ambushed a large convoy of travellers being escorted by armed soldiers, officials said.

The ambush, at about 10 a.m. on Tuesday, was on a large convoy of commercial, private and government vehicles travelling from Maiduguri to the southern part of Borno State, passing through the Damboa road.

Armed escort of soldiers is often required to travel through the recently reopened Maiduguri-Biu federal highway.

The road, which also has a link to the gates of Sambisa forest, had been closed for about two years after Boko Haram captured towns and villages along its axis. It was only opened for commercial motorists in February 2016.

But since its opening, Boko Haram gunmen have staged several attacks on vehicles plying the road.

The latest of such attacks was that of Tuesday morning, which occurred at Abbari-Dalwa village located about 30km from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Hours after the attack, news began to filter into Maiduguri that about 8 police officers and several civilian travellers may have been killed by the terrorists.

Authorities at the various security outfits in Borno State were, however, not forthcoming with information on what actually transpired.

About 10 hours after the attack, the Borno State Police Command at a press conference at about 8 p.m. confirmed the daring assault.

The Borno State Police Commissioner, Damian Chukwu, informed journalists that only one of his officers died in the ambush that also claimed the life of a Borno State government truck driver conveying drugs to an IDP camp in Damboa.

He said a unit of soldiers who normally carry out such exercise once in a day was escorting the convoy of over 200 vehicles.

He also explained that in the convoy were 63 personnel of the Nigeria Mobile Police Force on a special duty in Askira-Uba Local Government Area in southern Borno State.

He also said a team of police officials from the state command were also conveying the corpse of a police sergeant who died of natural causes about four days ago, to the same local government area.

Mr. Chukwu explained that due to the increasing demand for more police presence especially in the liberated areas of Borno State, his command made a request for more hands, and the Inspector General of Police okayed the demand.

“It was based on that approval by the IG that one officer and 62 men of the Nigeria Police Mobile Force were deployed from Delta State to Askira,” he said.

“And the vehicle conveying the deployed unit who were in an 80-sitter bus, had to join the convoy of civilian travellers being escorted by the soldiers.

“They started the trip around 10 a.m.; and by 11.30 we received information that they were ambushed. Suspected insurgents who were firing anti-aircraft rifle on the bus conveying the policemen ambushed the whole convoy of about 200 vehicles. They had to scamper for safety and in that process six of them were injured.

“The rest 56 of our special deployment managed to escape without any injury and their guns were intact.

“But from what we gathered, the Borno State government driver who was driving the policemen left the vehicle and ran away. The gunmen attempted to take the bus away, but later left it after ridding it with bullets.”

Mr. Chukwu said the deceased police officer was one of those escorting a corpse.

“The story is not the same with our men that are in the burial party.

“The driver (of the ambulance) was shot and injured, but a sergeant, Bala Tiiseh, who was escorting on the front of the lorry was killed. One Mustapha Modu, a driver of Borno State government’s truck, was killed.

“There are lots of other civilian occupants of the lorry, comprising relatives, friends and well-wishers of the deceased, who are still missing in action.

“We learnt that in that attack, there was a stampede; people ran in different directions for safety.”

Earlier, PREMIUM TIMES had gathered from some of the surviving police officers who returned to Maiduguri that the Boko Haram gunmen carted away a FNC rifle, a police lorry, as well as military, commercial and privately-owned vehicles.

The police commissioner did not, however, confirm the loss of equipment and vehicles.

The military has not issued any statement on the incident and its spokespersons in Borno did not pick or return calls.

Reports from some of the attacked police officers, however, suggest that the soldiers too may have suffered casualty in the attack.

Tuesday’s daring attack by the Boko Haram on such a well-protected convoy occurs two weeks after the insurgents attacked Maiduguri in a coordinated move.

The insurgents, who have lost most of the territory they once controlled to soldiers, have thus shown they are still able to carry out coordinated attacks. The Boko Haram insurgency has caused about 100,000 deaths, mainly in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states, since 2009.


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  • Intrepid

    The battle has started all over again. What’s going on? They will never give OSI any chance to settle down. These people are very wicked. They came with coup, then quit notice, now back to the hay days of boko haram.

    • Aska

      @disqus_3mRJNLtlFz:disqus

      Who’ll now be President of Nigeria?

      If Muhamadu Buhari is not the real
      Publisher of Premium Times why is Premium Times blacking out news update on
      Muhamadu Buhari who is reported elsewhere as having lost his memory and
      stuttering without coherence? “A source at the British Embassy told this
      website they don’t think Buhari could continue to govern in the condition he
      is in London
      ,” Sahara Reporters said today. “When the President was
      leaving for the airport, he shocked his aides when he asked if they were going
      to Sokoto, perhaps one of the first signs of his deteriorating memory
      ”.

      On that reported evidence alone Nigerians will be wholly retarded if they
      believe they still have a substantive president in Muhamadu Buhari. There’s
      nothing wrong with over-religious ones in Nigeria praying for Muhamadu Buhari.

      Nothing wrong with that. What’s naïve is to overlook this reported
      evidence in the public domain that Muhamadu Buhari looks incapacitated. No wise
      person will ever bet that Bukola Saraki has his own mind; or is alert or bright, or,
      even sensible to patriotically urge the Senate to act constitutionally on Buhari’s
      apparent incapacitation. And since the Senate fish rots from the head, the initiative
      on replacing Muhamadu Buhari should take place by Nigerian people themselves,
      even amid rumours that some revolutionary types have been polishing their rifles
      to impose a military solution.

      • Reposte

        @disqus_3mRJNLtlFz:disqus,

        “The next in line does not translate automatically to the next king. One major fact is that the king may be
        very cold and may be very old and in need of warmth but the king is not yet dead. The ‘Adonjahs’ confuse birthright with leadership rights and assume that the next in line is automatically the next king whenever the
        current king is no more.

        As a result of the president’s present condition, all over the land, Absaloms and Adonijahs are springing up. Again this is not unusual. The Absaloms, who seek to overthrow the king, embrace everyone and worm their hearts into the minds of the simple and gullible till they steal the heart of all men”.

        ………………..Pastor Tunde Bakare

        (June 19th, 2017)

    • share Idea

      Now they gullible will understand what we have been saying all these while that BH was northern conspiracy to make GEJ’s government ungovernable as was voiced by some of their cabals before 2010 election. I’m happy that you interpreted the situation of things very well as I have said same sometime ago in different media when the Northern youths issued that threat message to SE. Nigeria we hail thee

      • Femi Folarin

        @shareidea:disqus

        THE FORCES AGAINST YEMI OSINBAJO ARE TOO STRONG AND SOLID. THEY INCLUDE
        THE RETIRED GENERALS WHO REJECT HIS CANDIDACY AS PRESIDENT IN ADVANCE
        BASED ON HIS UMBILICAL LINK TO BOLA TINUBU WHO IS MOST HATED BY ALL.

  • Rufus

    after paying ransom, what do you expect?…. they buy weapons….

    • Pawa2

      Everybody knew that, but they will be conquered again.

      • Rufus

        What is the real problem Mr. PAwa?…. BH will release another batch and get paid when they run out o money. If the road was unsafe, why was it opened?… meanwhile, i work in that axis…. infant, my colleagues at the PCNI were involved. the army will not let anyone travel on that axis without escort. If you can’t leave 15km of maiduguri, then where is safe?… it simply means the claims of the army that they have liberated the region is a fat lie. the soldiers are extorting people now in the name of escort…

  • Fidelis Howla

    @disqus_3mRJNLtlFz:disqus:Nigeria is not going

    anywhere under BUHARI/Osinbajo government. It’s as simple as that. Knowledge is
    power and neither man has relevant knowledge to resolve a political syndrome of
    economic recession; pick up the slack of five million retrenched workers under
    their fumbling rule, engage 28 million other un-employed Nigerians in
    profitable employment; and thereby stop consolidating poverty with platitudes
    and ignorance. Under both men Nigeria has worsened into the worst state ever in
    history. Suicide rate has soared too. The APC government of Buhari/Osinbajo has
    no known specialty or precise competency at doing anything – not in foreign
    policy, anti-terrorist operational plans or country legal administration.
    Nigerians are openly expressing regret electing both men as they unravel on the
    job as utter charlatans who have no business in government. The two men don’t
    know what to do; as Nigeria breaks down and likely breaks up.

  • George

    If the soldiers and the police are so useless like this why are they sent in the first place as an ex cost. They shouldn’t have given the people fake hopes.

    APC shame forever.

  • Secession REFERENDUM Now!!!

    Fellow Citizens of the Bight of Biafra & the entire world, below are the unmistakable BENEFITS of disintegration/breakup of Nigeria

    1. TERRORISM
    There will be no more association with terrorism. The collective tag of terrorism will now be on only one country – _Arewa Republic

    2. PROSPERITY
    Prosperity, accelerated development with no hindrances whatsoever. The laggards will be in their own country, subject to their own laws – religious, extremist or whatever. But never again will they have to impede development of other peoples/nations.

    3. PEACE
    Peace, peace and peace shall rain. Church bombings will never occur again. We all know Christians neither bomb churches nor mosques

    4. EQUAL STANDARDS
    The constitutions of emergent nations will include prescription of minimum education for presidential candidates to bar the unintelligent illiterates and academic inferiors from becoming president. High and equal standards will apply to all citizens – same cut off marks for admission to schools shall apply to all citizens irrespective of your ethnicity or religion. None will shamefully glory in the tag ‘educationally disadvantaged’

    5. FAIRNESS
    People will be elevated to positions of authority according to their level of competence and not level of influence in a forest.

    6. HUMAN RIGHTS
    Human rights will be respected. No peaceful protesters will be shot and killed. Protesters shall no more be buried in mass graves on presidential orders

    7. CORRUPTION
    Corruption will be a thing of the past. Even when it occurs there shall be no blanket immunity to any ethnic group or persons or past friends of politicians.

    8. PROBITY
    Any persons or group of persons associated with terrorism or who have made inflammatory threats in time past or supported terror by way of utterances or otherwise, shall be barred from seeking public office.

    9. FREEDOM
    There shall be freedom of speech and association. Freedom to agitate, to protest without being shot and buried in mass graves like Buhari has been doing

    10. SELF RELIANCE/SELF PRIDE
    There shall be self reliance and confidence in the ability from within and not the omnipresent overly dependence on, and/or looking up to imperialist nations for direction.

  • emmanuel

    Give me a country. I think we really need restructuring of Nigeria. The shame and stigma the North and its peoples have brought on us collectively as a Nigerians is becoming unbearable, all because of Islam and religion. Why is ALL terrorism carried out by the North? All pain, all destruction…almost everything that is negative comes from that region. I can’t place a finger on anything POSITIVE that the North has done in time past and even now to place Nigeria on the world map. All news from Northern Nigeria is always killings, deaths, sorrows, tears and blood.

  • Pawa2

    A convoy of 200 vehicles is a sitting duck. I hope the authorities have learn their lessons. The maximum in a convoy should be about 5 vehicles.

    • Fairgame

      I thought you would be asking the Nigerian authorities and the military to NAME suicide bombers and give every other information regarding any suicide bomber or Herdsmen. Other real countries however small, regardless of resources, place names on the attackers that strike in their countries. Their accomplices are rounded up and any network they belong to identified and quashed or becomes a target to be quashed. Thus preventing another attack by same network. In Nigeria the reverse is the case. All plans by any network of suicide bombers or killer Herdsmen always strike because intelligence is NEVER gathered about them through any of their member killed or arrested. Nigeria stinks! Its presidency stinks. Stinks really bad. 2 days ago, Boko haram killed 16 in Maiduguri and world news media ignored Nigeria and did not report it. Whereas, 1 killed in UK and 3 in Mali made all the headline news around the world. Why? Because the Nigerian leadership is not sincere in this terrorism fight. It is like the Qatari govt. Supporting terrorism.

      • Pawa2

        I have told them what I want to tell them and I don’t find most of your tirade to be true, honest or inspiring.