Boko Haram terrorists on Tuesday reportedly abducted three officers of the Nigeria Customs Services during an attack on Geidam, a town in Yobe State near the Nigerian border with Niger Republic.
The insurgents had attacked the town late Tuesday evening.
Security sources told PREMIUM TIMES that they took away the officers after driving into the town through the Geidam -Maine–Sorowa road.
The officers were stationed at a checkpoint on the road when the insurgents swooped on them, a source said.
The source revealed that the officers were posted from the zonal command of the Customs in Bauchi to Yobe at the border.
“What happened is very unfortunate because some of our personnel got the information of the attack and left the area but those three officers we learnt did not get the information early,” the source told PREMIUM TIMES.
“By the time they were trying to leave, the insurgents had closed in on them and took them away,” the source, a Customs officer, told our correspondent but asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to journalists.
The police spokesperson in the state, Dungus Abdulkarim, confirmed the Tuesday attack on Geidam.
Mr Abdulkarim said no casualty was recorded in the attack but the terrorists burnt an ambulance of the General Hospital, Geidam, and looted a shop.
Asked about the abduction of the three Customs officers, Mr Abulkarim said “you can crosscheck the information with the Customs, please. I have no comment on that.”
He said police officers informed him that the insurgents were engaged in a gun battle by Nigerian ground and air forces who deployed a fighter jet to repel the insurgents.
The customs service has not spoken on the abduction and its spokesperson could not be reached at the time of this report.
The attack came less than 24 hours after the new Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru, visited troops of Operation Lafiya Dole on Monday.
During the visit, Mr Attahiru, a major-general, promised to boost the morale of the soldiers with improved welfare and more equipment to end the over one decade insurgency in the region.
A resident of Geidam, Idris Modu Geidam, told PREMIUM TIMES that the insurgents entered Geidam from the northern axis and started shooting sporadically.
“They came from the Maine Sorowa road from the northern part of the town and started shooting heavily. Everybody ran into their houses or into the bush,” Mr Idris said.
Maine–Sorowa is on the Nigeria-Niger Republic border and is about 45km from Geidam town.
Geidam has been a recurrent target of the insurgents. In January, they attacked the town and abducted the District Head, who is still in their custody. They also looted foodstuff, burnt shops and took away medical drugs from the main hospital in the town.
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