An unspecified number of vigilante operatives were killed at a checkpoint mounted by suspected Boko Haram members along Damaturu/Gashua road, Yobe, on Friday, witnesses and security officials said.
A top vigilante official in Yobe State, who did not want his name mentioned, confirmed that some of his men were killed and their Hilux van seized.
“Yes, I can confirm to you that some of my boys are killed. I will call you late,” the source disclosed.
The attack according to sources happened between two villages on the road, Lantewa and Kaliyari, where the insurgents mounted a checkpoint and operated unchallenged for more than two hours.
The acting assistant director army public relation unit, sector 2 ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’, Chinonso Oteh, who confirmed the attack said “ground and airforce troops have successfully dislodged the insurgents”.
A traveller, who did not want his name in print, said he escaped the ambush to Damaturu while the attack lasted.
Mr Modu said the insurgents stopped them and asked them to come down from the car and demanded to see their ID cards.
According to him, “Boko Haram told us that they were looking for three sets of people: security (officials), civil servants and Christians. None of us had any form of ID Card on us. I told them that I am a businessman.”
He said he saw the insurgents engage a vigilante Hilux vehicle that was coming from Damaturu, which ran into that ambush.
“They opened fire on the hilux and pursued it into the bush and caught up with it. I suspect nobody in that Hilux came out alive or maybe they were abducted,” the source said.