Online reports say that at least nine soldiers were killed on Tuesday as members of Boko Haram usurped vehicles transporting oil workers in Borno state.
During the gun duel that ensued between the soldiers and insurgents which took place at Magumeri in Gubio local government area of the state, 10 oil workers were able to escape while 10 others have been kidnapped.
Confirming the abduction, the University of Maiduguri spokesman Danjuma Gambo said the military is yet to inform them of the kidnap of their staff.
“There is no denying the fact that this incident happened, involving our staff, NNPC workers and security escorts from the military and the (civilian militia). Our staff who were recruited as consultants were on the team that was ambushed. It was clear Boko Haram studied their movements before attacking them,” he told AFP
An unidentified officer explained that the insurgents overpowered the soldiers because help did not arrive on time.
“As of 9pm, no rescue reinforcement was deployed from either the Nigerian air force component of the operation or troops of Operation Lafiya Dole. The victims were left to their fate,” he said.
“Between yesterday and today, only ten of the victims can be confirmed to be alive. The five oil workers that escaped the attack yesterday were hospitalised at the Borno state specialist hospital.
“Also this morning, around 5pm precisely, five others who escaped also called and told us their location.
“The five victims at the state specialist hospital told us that out of the ten vehicles which conveyed the team from Magumeri, only their vehicle escaped the attack with bullets holes, flat tyres and smashed wind screen.
“They said the insurgents chased them for more than 10 kilometres.”