Police rescue soldiers attacked by Boko Haram, recover 60 rifles, gun truck

Heavily Armed Policemen
Heavily Armed Policemen (Photo: thenationonline)

The Nigerian police counter-terrorism unit in Base 8, Maiduguri, has rescued a patrol team of soldiers attacked by Boko Haram terrorists on Monday along Auno road.

The incident occurred at about 2:48 p.m. Monday, authorities briefed on the matter said.

Before the arrival of the police, the Boko Haram elements had killed two soldiers, kidnapped others and carted away two gun trucks, about 60 AK47 rifles and some ammunition.

But in an exchange of fire, the police rescued two soldiers, recovered one of the gun trucks and some of the other ammunition, this medium learnt.

In a video seen by this newspaper where the Nigerian police team gave an account of the rescue mission, the leader of the team said their patrol vehicle was moving along Auno road when they saw a military vehicle packed on an untarred and deserted road.

“We decided to move across the road so see what’s happening. We saw a military vehicle on an interred road. We saw a dead body. We thought it was a bomb,” the unnamed police officer said in the video.

“I said let us scrutinize the vehicle. (It was there) we saw this number of arms and decided to pick them out,” the officer, who wore a bulletproof vest and face cap with SARS crested on them, noted.

He added that they “decided to retrieve (the ammunition) and go back,” when they saw a vehicle burning along the road and a fighter jet hovering above them.

He said their decision was taken to avoid being mistaken for terrorists since “we didn’t communicate with the army.”

Auno town, which is about 20 km from Maiduguri, has seen recent onslaught from insurgents. In February, over 30 stranded travellers were charred and over 18 vehicles burnt at the town’s gate.

Also, during COVID-19 lockdown in April, at least seven persons were killed by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on the outskirts of the village.

The army spokesperson, Sagir Musa, could not be reached as his phone was switched off when it was called.

Police spokesperson, Frank Mba, declined comment as calls and a text message sent to him were not replied.



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