ABUJA/Nigeria: The Army said it had rescued all the NNPC staff kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Borno on Tuesday.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, also said that the corpses of an officer, eight soldiers and a civilian, who died in the incident had been recovered.
Usman said the corpses had been evacuated to 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital.
“Suspected Boko Haram terrorists ambushed the escort and team of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) staff returning from oil exploration at Barno Yasu, Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno on Tuesday.
“On receipt of the information, the Brigade mobilised and sent reinforcement, search and rescue party that included the Armed Forces Special Forces and guides that worked and pursued the terrorists throughout the night.
“So far, they have rescued all the NNPC staff and recovered the corpses of the Officer, 8 soldiers and a civilian who have been evacuated to 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital.
“The team recovered 4 vehicles one of which include a gun truck mounted with an Anti-Aircraft Gun,two white Hilux taken away from NNPC staff and one blue Hilux belonging to CJTF.
“The team also recovered large quantities of arms and ammunition, several spare tyres, many jerry cans containing Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant, assorted drugs, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making materials, reflective jackets and a Motorola handheld radio, among others.
“The team also neutralised many of the terrorists,” the army spokesman said.
According to him, the troops are not relenting in the pursuit, search and rescue effort.
A source told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked a convoy of oil workers at a village along Gubio and Magumeri local government areas on Tuesday.
It said the attackers ambushed the oil workers, who were staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), who were traveling in a convoy of about 10 vehicles.
It said the oil workers were engaged in oil exploration in the Lake Chad Basin.
According to the source, some staff of the University of Maiduguri were also part of the team.
It added that nine soldiers and some members of a Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), who were also part of the team, were killed during the attack.