Boko Haram has killed five traders in an ambush on a highway in northeast Nigeria. The highway was recently reopened as the military hopes to prove that Boko Haram has been roundly defeated. The highway was closed for safety reasons at the height of the Boko Haram unrest some two years ago, but was reopened by the Army following a string of successes against Boko Haram.
Reports confirms that a convoy of vehicles carrying Nigerian immigration officials and a group of traders were travelling from Gamboru, on the border with Cameroon, to the city of Maiduguri when they came under fire on Monday.
“Three (immigration) officers were hit and injured in the fire exchange. The immigration men drove off towards Maiduguri, leaving the traders behind”
“Since the Maiduguri-Gamboru highway was reopened two months ago convoys of trucks carrying goods and other vehicles conveying traders have been coming to Gamboru under military escort without any incident”
The deceased traders had joined the convoy thinking it would be a safer way to reach the Borno state capital than travelling the notorious road alone. The traders’ two trucks were looted and set alight, Gamboru resident Umar Ari told AFP by phone, also confirming the toll of five dead.
The Gamboru to Maiduguri highway is a strategic 140-kilometre (87-mile) trade route in the region, and provides an important link with neighboring Cameroon.