Oil exploration scientists ‘attacked, abducted’ in Borno

 

Many members of a federal government team on an oil exploration mission to the northeast have been kidnapped after an ambush by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members.

According to Punch, the team was on its way to an exploration site at Bornoyesu village in Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State when they were ambushed halfway. The ambush was staged despite the presence of security operatives escorting the team.

The report has it that the security operatives comprised soldiers, civilian JTF members and local hunters.

“Out of the 11 vehicles (carrying the escorts)  … only three escaped back to Maiduguri, while the rest are feared to have been taken away by the militants after their occupants abandoned them and scampered into the surrounding bushes,” the report quoted an unnamed security source as saying.

The source, however, could not confirm the number of people in the oil exploration team.

“I don’t know, but I heard they have been frequenting the site for about a month now,” the source said.




     

     

    “No source has so far revealed to us that any or some or all the oil workers, who have been coming from Abuja, has escaped; as at this night (9:30 pm) nobody has told me anything about their whereabouts.”

    A local hunter was also quoted as confirming that five soldiers who were seen to have fled the ambush had not reached Maiduguri.

    He also could not confirm any death, but he said the injured among the security agents, civilian JTF and hunters, had been taken to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

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    In May, Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said that clearance had been obtained from military authorities for the resumption of oil exploration activities in the north-east, including the Lake Chad basin.

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