Two livestock traders were killed and three seriously injured after triggering a mine as they fled an ambush by jihadists in northeast Nigeria, a militia fighting the group said Monday.
The men were travelling between Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, and the town of Biu in neighbouring Borno state when they were attacked by Boko Haram fighters at around 5pm (1600 GMT) on Sunday.
They abandoned their vehicles and ran into the bush “but one of them stepped on a mine planted by the terrorists”, said Nuwaisu Aisami, a member of a local militia fighting the jihadist group.
“Two people died in the explosion and three others were seriously injured,” he added.
A representative of the cattle traders’ association confirmed the incident.
The three injured were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, said the spokesman who asked not to be named.
The Damaturu-Biu highway was only re-opened in April 2016, three years after it was closed following a string of Boko Haram attacks on motorists.
The key arterial road links Yobe state and Biu in southern Borno, a commercial and agricultural centre.
Despite increased military success in the fight to dislodge Boko Haram, the group continues to launch sporadic, deadly attacks on the route.
The Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s mainly-Muslim north has claimed at least 20,000 lives and displaced some 2.6 million people since 2009, triggering a humanitarian crisis.