Abuja - More than 20 people have been killed after suspected members of Boko Haram dressed in military camouflage ran rampage along the Maiduguri/Damaturu highway.
An unspecified number of people were abducted while the gunmen were also said to have burnt more than 100 houses, shops and scores of vehicles in the town of Benisheikh, which lies on a highway and 72 km west of Maiduguri.
Garba Ngamdu, the Special Adviser on Labour to Borno State Governor who hails from the town, told journalists that the gunmen killed five persons in Benisheikh and set ablaze at least 100 houses and shops.
Other victims were reportedly killed on the highway.
“The attack occurred in the evening of Tuesday when the Boko Haram gunmen attacked our town, killing five persons and burning several houses, not less than hundred had been counted. They also attacked motorists and killed several people.
"I cannot give the actual figure of casualties though. Based on the information at hand, 5 residents of the area were killed. A large chunk of the victims were motorists traveling on the highway, although we do not have a tentative figure yet,” he said.
State Police Commissioner, Tanko Lawan, said the police authority was yet to gather details of the attacks.
“It was an unfortunate incident but we are yet to get details of what happened especially regarding casualty figures. We have sent a team of our men down there to ascertain what happened so that we can brief the press properly,” he said.
A survivor said the militants arrived in military vans and uniforms.
“They set up check points on the Damaturu-Maiduguri highway and ordered
motorists to park and identify themselves.
"Several motorists who identified themselves as Borno indigenes were shot dead on the spot while those that told them they were outsiders were unharmed,” he said.
Troops have been deployed to the highway, where traffic volumes were lower than usual.
- CAJ News