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Nigerian Military Rescue Passengers Abducted Along Highway In Northeast

The passengers regained freedom after the military responded to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) activity along the route linking Damaturu and Maiduguri.

File. Nigerian Military MI-35M helicopter deploying flares

The Nigerian military’s helicopter gunship and ground forces rescued five abducted passengers after pushing back an ISWAP cell along Damaturu – Maiduguri highway on Monday, June 6.

The military had dispatched an MI-35M helicopter after insurgents mounted a checkpoint and abducted commuters at Goni Masari along the route between the Borno state capital of Maiduguri – Damaturu, the capital of Yobe. 

The insurgents had also burnt two petroleum product tankers and two civilian vehicles before retreating from the location with their victims

The helicopter gunship reportedly searched and engaged the insurgents, which led to them abandoning the victims.

The aircraft subsequently remained in the area providing overwatch and direction to ground forces of the Army’s 29th Brigade and Civilian joint Task Force militia. 

Aerial photograph of the rescued victims. Photo Nigerian Army HQ. 

Aerial photograph of the rescued victims. Photo Nigerian Army HQ. 

Photos displayed by the Army showed gun trucks and weapons captured from the insurgents, including heavy machine guns, AK pattern rifles and a machine gun. In addition to 12.7mm and 7.62 mm calibre rounds. 
Damaturu – Maiduguri road is considered one of the at-risk roads in the northeast due to the threat of ISWAP checkpoints and attacks.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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