Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for last week’s ambush on a convoy at northeastern Nigerian town of Damboa heading for a funeral in Maiduguri.
Extremist leader Abubakar Shekau, in a video released on Monday claimed responsibility for the ambush that resulted in the death of at least two people and abduction of at least 16 women including suspected police officers.
The convoy included security escorts, civilians and police officials who were heading for a funeral of a policewoman. Some of the victims managed to escape while others sustained injuries.
Shekau described the ambush and abduction as a victory and evidence that they have not been defeated as claimed by the military and government.
This shows the claim of Nigeria military, the police and government that they have finished Boko Haram is a lie. The Damboa road ambush has made it clear that they have been lying to the world.
“We are responsible for the Damboa road ambush. This shows the claim of Nigeria military, the police and government that they have finished Boko Haram is a lie. The Damboa road ambush has made it clear that they have been lying to the world,” he said.
He boasted about the vehicles taken and the abducted women who he said are “slaves given to them by God”.
The video only showed still images of the kidnapped women and clips of the attack.
The police has since refuted claims that its members were abducted. In a statement on Wednesday, Borno police spokesperson Victor Isukwu called on the public to “disregard the claims as “they are not a true representation of that unfortunate incident.”
“For avoidance of doubts, and to put records straight, there are no policewomen under Boko Haram terrorist’s captivity as claimed by the sect leader … The personnel missing are Inspector Fatsuma Sale and Cpl Abubakar Haruna. There is no evidence in the video clip indicating that they are in the captivity of the sect,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari said last year that the army had defeated Boko Haram in the Sambisa forest.
The outgoing commander of Nigerian Army’s anti-Boko Haram operation Major General Lucky Irabor had reiterated in May that the Islamist militant group Boko Haram has been defeated and does not have the capacity to attack.
Boko Haram has been perpetrating violence since 2009 in the northeast of Nigeria. Close to 20,000 people have been killed in clashes.