40 (including a Professor) feared dead after Boko Haram attack - aksu360


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40 (including a Professor) feared dead after Boko Haram attack

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More than 40 people have died, Tuesday, during an attempt to free people during an ambush by militant group Boko Haram. At least 5 members of an oil exploration team were killed, a spokesman for the University of Maiduguri said. Soldiers and members of a vigilante group also died in the ambush. The high number of casualties appears to be a blow for the government, which insists the insurgency is all but defeated.

Details of what happened on Tuesday remain unclear, with initial reports from the army suggesting the abducted Geologists and Surveyors, who worked at the University of Maiduguri, had been rescued. On Tuesday, the army said the bodies of 9 Nigerian soldiers and a civilian had been recovered. Meanwhile University of Maiduguri has said at least 5 members of staff, including two academics (Professor) and a driver, were killed when the heavily armed convoy made its way back to Maiduguri, in north-east Nigeria.

Maiduguri University spokesman Dani Mamman said."We got the impression our staff on the team were rescued because that was what the military spokesman said yesterday, but we were shocked when we were given four dead bodies. This means it wasn't a rescue. We still have other staff that are yet to be accounted for."

Reports from news-wire indicate that more than 40 people, most of them soldiers and volunteers from a vigilante group, had been killed in total - although other sources suggest the number killed may rise further still. 

One of the persons killed by the Boko Haram during the kidnap of oil workers in Borno State has been buried. The deceased, Idris Njodi, was a younger brother of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Abubakar Njodi. NNPC is reporting that the staff from University of Maiduguri were part of a geological team contracted by the oil corporation to carry out exploration services in the trouble Lake Chad region.

Federal Government Reacts
The Federal Government said it has suspended crude oil exploration in the Lake Chad Basin following attack on personnel of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in Borno State by suspected members of Boko Haram terrorist group. 
Mr. Ibe Kachikwu
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Chairman of the NNPC Board, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, declared that NNPC would only resume production if it got sufficient assurance and security clearance from the military authorities, guaranteeing the safety of its personnel and operations. He said, “Whether we will resume, obviously, will depend again on what security clearance is given. Certainly, we will not go back unless they give us clearance; just like we did not go in before they gave us clearance. Provided they are sufficient security clearance, I don’t see why we would not continue to push.” 

He described the incident as unfortunate, lamenting that the attack still occurred after over six months in that area and despite the fact that there were over 200 security personnel protecting the oil exploration team, comprising members of the military and the Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF, and others.

“The lessons we are going to take away from this incident is that we are going to look at the security apparatus and find out whether they are a little bit more we can do. I know that they were over 200 security personnel, between the military, the CJTF and others. They were very well protected, and as I said, the activities had been going on for over six months.”

At least 20,000 people have been killed and thousands more abducted since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009. In the most notorious abduction case, it seized 276 girls from a boarding school in the north-eastern town of Chibok in 2014. It has since freed more than 100 of the girls, in exchange for the release of its fighters detained by Nigeria's security forces.

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