Nigerian truckers risk lives in Boko Haram territories

2015-03-09 16:02
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Cape Town – Nigerian truckers have expressed concern over their safety, as they opened up about how the Boko Haram insurgency has directly affected them.

According to a BBC report, most of the truck drivers who have survived a journey through the Islamist militants' territory drive tankers of petrol, diesel or kerosene to and from Maiduguru.

One of them said he had witnessed the killing of 10 of his colleagues the last three weeks after the militants stopped them and cut off their heads with an electric chainsaw and burned the trucks.

Another said if a driver looked "powerful" he could be kidnapped and recruited as a fighter, adding that the "weak" ones always "lost their heads".

Another driver also recounted his experiences in Bama when the town was captured by Boko Haram last September.

"It started early in the morning. Suddenly they came. There was shooting, in my presence I saw four people go down; the soldiers fled," he was quoted as saying.

This comes as the fight against Boko Haram intensifies, with reports on Monday saying at least 200 vehicles with soldiers from Chad and Niger had been seen crossing the border into Nigeria.

The group, which has in the past days been weakened by a multinational force that has dislodged it from a score of north-eastern town, reportedly pledged formal allegiance to the Islamic State (Isis) group over the weekend.

A partnership with ISIS could also be a recruiting tool, a report said.

Boko Haram was little known until its April 2014 abduction of nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls from a school in the remote town of Chibok drew international outrage.

Read more on:    isis  |  boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

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