How Boko Haram terrorists hunt military and security personnel in Yobe
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Boko Haram terrorists have continued to hunt military, police and government personnel, as they ambushed commuters along the Damaturu/Gashua road at the weekend.
The terrorists hunted the military personnel by mounting a roadblock at Kaliyari village near Lantewa, 75 kilometres east of Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, with the rickety army patrol vehicle, which they allegedly snatched in previous attacks.
While lamenting their ordeal, eyewitnesses said, “The insurgents mounted a checkpoint on the highway and operated freely for more than two hours.”
A commuter from Bayamari, Abdu Hassan, said the terrorists operated within a kilometre of the Damaturu-Gashua road.
“After stopping motorists from both ends of the road, they asked for ID cards. The insurgents wanted to know whether commuters and drivers are security agents, civil servants or Christians.
He said the hunt lasted for over an hour, before they were miraculously released, without being hurt as none of the commuters had an ID card.
“We ran into their checkpoint and they asked everybody to come down.
When we came down, they told us that they were looking for security agents, civil servants and Christians. They searched our pockets but none of us had an ID card. We sat on the ground with them for more than one hour,” he said.
A Kaliyari source also said he saw a Hilux van belonging to a vigilance group that ran into the checkpoint and that the terrorists opened fire on motorists and commuters and chased them into the bush.
While lamenting the incident, he said, “We were coming from Dapchi and I sighted a vehicle painted in military colour. After sighting them, I thought I had entered into the hands of Boko Haram terrorists.
“I was the one that sighted them first because I sat in the front of the Sharon vehicle. Initially, I thought they were just coming to the road, so we could escape, not knowing that there were others in front.
“We left Dapchi to Damaturu and got to that place around 10.30 am. If you’re a following this road, if you pass Lantewa,
“They were many and they covered a distance of almost one kilometre. “There was a vigilance car that was coming from Damaturu. As they arrived at the place, they opened fire on them, the vehicle went off the road and they followed them into the bush, pursuing them until they caught them.
“While those ones were operating, others held us from another end of road. So, I think they were many. I had some documents on me but they were inside my bag in the car.
“They asked us to remove everything from our pockets. We removed everything, but no one was found with an ID card. I told them I am a businessman. They collected my ID card, looked at it and gave it back to me. Our saving grace was that they did not search our vehicle.
“They were doing the operation on our car when the vigilance Hilux van came. I think what saves us was that their attention was on the vigilance car that some of their members were pursuing.
“We were together with them for almost one hour, seated on the ground.
It was only God that saved us. The Acting Assistant Director, Army Public Relations Sector 2, Operation Lafiya Dole, Damaturu, Lt. Chinonso Oteh, urged the people to remain calm, as the army was in control of the situation.