ABUJA (Reuters) – At least 30 people have been killed in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno region after suspected Boko Haram Islamists set ablaze several trucks carrying passengers on Sunday night, eyewitnesses and residents told Reuters.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Boko Haram group and rival Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) splinter group have often carried out attacks in the area.
The passengers were stranded on Sunday evening along a military check point due to the curfew imposed by the military in the town of Auno before the attack happened at around 2100 GMT, resident Bunu Ali who witnessed the attack said.
Auno is a town 24 km (15 miles) from Maiduguri, the state capital. Eyewitness said the insurgents attacked on motorbikes shooting sporadically. They set at least 18 vehicles ablaze and abducted several people, another eyewitness said.
Nigerian Army Commander said the casualty figure was much smaller because the military had recovered 10 bodies on Monday. The commander said the military closed the road at 1500 GMT to curb insurgency.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday condemned the attack, adding that the was receiving more military hardware and intelligence to counter the current security challenges, a statement from the presidential office said.
Borno state is the epicenter of the Boko Haram and ISWA insurgency. The conflict has lasted a decade, during which time the militants have killed thousands and millions have fled from their homes in the region.
Reporting by Maiduguri newsroom; Additional reporting by Felix Onuah in Abuja; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha