No fewer than thirty-five travellers have been reportedly abducted by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Maiduguri-Damaturu highway.
The incident happened on Friday.
Witnesses told Channels Television on Saturday that the armed insurgents stormed the highway in large numbers and mounted an illegal checkpoint around Auno, barely 23 kilometres to Maiduguri from where they picked their victims.
Multiple sources told the network that the insurgents moved from vehicle to vehicle, scrutinising and interviewing passengers, asking non-Muslims and those not dressed like Muslims to step out of the car they were in.
They were said to have warned the travellers against attempting to escape and those who tried to beat a retreat were instantly shot dead, a survivor said.
It is not clear how many people were abducted or how many got killed while trying to escape, but many cars were said to have been set ablaze.
According to witnesses, troops of the Nigerian Army later arrived at the scene after the assailants had retreated.
They directed all the travellers to move back to the next village before they combed the road to ensure it was safe for motorists.
The flow of traffic along the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road has been heavy lately with many people travelling to and fro the city for the holidays.
According to them, travellers in scores of commercial and private-owned vehicles were caught up in the attack.
The Nigerian military is yet to confirm the attack.
Meanwhile, a female suicide bomber on Saturday killed at least three and injured seven people in an attack on Konduga, Borno State.
The bomber reportedly targeted a crowded area in the town, Anadolu Agency reported a local government official as saying.
“The bomber snuck into the area and detonated her explosives. Three people are dead,” the official said, requesting anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.