Boko Haram insurgents reportedly killed at least 60 persons in the attack on the convoy of Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno state.
According to Reuters, survivors also claimed “between 100 and 200” were abducted in the attack.
The insurgents had attacked Shettima and his campaign team while on their way to Gamboru Ngala, a community which shares border with Cameroon.
Shettima had told TheCable that three persons were killed in the attack: “a soldier and two stakeholders,one of whom is the influential chairman of Jogol Handset Sellers Association.”
But Reuters quoted survivors as saying the casualty figure is much higher than what the governor reported.
“One survivor said he saw about 40 bodies; another estimated that as many as 100 died,” the agency said.
“The militants also took between 100 and 200 people captive, officials said. At least 60 bodies were taken to a hospital morgue in Maiduguri after the attack, some with their throats cut, said a humanitarian worker who looked into the incident.”
It is still unclear how the insurgents learnt about the governor’s movement which was said to have involved an 85-vehicle convoy including buses full of supporters.
They had reportedly opened fire on the convoy as it passed through Maula village.
According to Reuters, while grenades were launched right into the middle of the motorcade, the governor, who was in the front half of the convoy, managed to escape.
A security official who was among the governor’s team reportedly said the insurgents “they came out with two pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns, all of the fighters in military camouflage, while the rest of them came from the roadside, firing on us.”
“Some people tried to escape by turning back. Others abandoned their vehicles and ran into the bush. As they ran, the insurgents opened fire. I would not be surprised if 100 people lost their lives.”
The insurgents subsequently ordered other survivors into the remaining vehicles and drove away with “at least 100 people”, according to a witness, although “a Nigerian intelligence official put the number of captives as high as 200.”
According to another witness’ account, more than 200 people managed to escape from the scene.
“At least 60 bodies were taken to a hospital morgue in Maiduguri after the attack, some with their throats cut,” a humanitarian worker was quoted as saying.
Only recently, the governor wept before President Muhammadu Buhari over the continued Boko Haram attacks in the state.