Terrorists abduct motorists, set cars ablaze in Borno

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BY Kingsley Omonobi, NDAHI MARAMA

MAIDUGURI— Another set of terrorists, yesterday, ambushed motorists along Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu Road, setting ablaze two trucks loaded with oranges and another Toyota hilux vehicle, after abducting their drivers and taking them an unknown destination.

This was barely 24 hours after some suspected Boko Haram insurgents ambushed motorists along Gwoza-Firgi-Ngurosoya Federal Highway in Borno State, and killed five passengers, including a man on his way to Maiduguri to attend his brother’s wedding.

The sect members struck on a day the National Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), declared that the government had initiated a new approach and a change of tactics in fighting Boko Haram terrorism, having realised that military operations alone cannot stop terrorism.

Vanguard gathered that the incident took place few kilo-metres from Limanti/ Bullabulin Ngarwa communities where series of deadly road attacks masterminded by Boko Haram took place in recent times.

Eyewitnesses

A motorist who escaped the attack, Mallam Musa Usman told Vanguard in an interview that the incident occurred at 9a.m. yesterday.

He said: “I have to thank God for sparing my life with two of my children, whom I was taking to Biu for the Christmas holiday after finishing their examinations last week.

“We nearly fell into the hands of terrorists. But as God would have it, I saw unusual movements along the road, just some few metres to the scene and I immediately put my vehicle on reverse gear, before making U-turn back to Maiduguri.”

Another passenger, Mallam Salisu Yahaya, who came from Biu to Maiduguri, said: “When we reached the place, we discovered that three vehicles were burning, but nobody was there.

“We were told that some Boko Haram terrorists from Sambisa Forests had earlier in the morning barricaded the road and unleashed terror on motorists.”

Govt’s reaction

Spokesman of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Colonel Mohammed Dole confirmed the incident, but said the details of the attack were still sketchy.

He, however, promised to issue a statement on the matter as soon as the division finished compiling its report on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Presidency may have initiated a new approach and a change of tactics in fighting terrorism, saying it had realised that military operations alone cannot stop the menace of terrorism.

Dasuki, who made the disclosure at the Strategic Communications workshop held at the National Defence College, yesterday, said ‘a robust public diplomacy’ which would involve every facet of the society, including aggressive mass media participation, is to be put in place to tackle the menace.

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