An attack on a Nigerian oil exploration team by Boko Haram Islamist militants killed at least 48 people, hospital and military officials in the northeast city of Maiduguri said.
Those who died in the July 25 attack include 18 soldiers, 15 local vigilantes, five geologists from the University of Maiduguri, four drivers working for the state oil company and six others, said medical and military officials at the university’s hospital who asked not to be named as they weren’t authorized to comment.
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Kachikwu, told reporters earlier on Thursday that “the number of people who have been identified as dead are still being collated.” Sani Usman, the spokesman for the Nigerian military, didn’t answer two calls on his mobile phone for comment.
The exploration team was in a convoy of 11 vehicles with security escorts on their way to Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, when they were ambushed in the town of Barno Yasu, officials said.
Five of nine geologist were killed in the attack while four remain missing, Dani Mamman, chairman of the Academic Staff Union of the University of Maiduguri, said Thursday by phone.