On Tuesday, gun fighters, suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents ambushed the convoy of the oil workers around Jilli and Borno yesu villages at Magumeri local government area of Borno state.
The village is in Magumeri local government area, about 50 km (30 miles) from the state capital, Maiduguri.
The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had also confirmed that 10 members of its oil exploration contingent were kidnapped. Though it said they were not its regular staff, but a team of geologists from the University of Maiduguri who were commissioned to explore oil in Lake Chad.
The kidnap also comes about two months after the NNPC management, following a presidential directive, announced that it was resuming oil exploration around the Lake Chad area following assurances by the Nigeria military that the security situation had improved in the area that was once under the control of Boko Haram.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Sani Usman, army spokesman, said troops rescued all the “NNPC staff” and recovered the bodies of slain soldiers.
He also said some of the vehicles taken from the contingent were recovered.
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”So far, they have rescued all the NNPC staff and recovered the corpses of the officer, eight soldiers and a civilian have who have been evacuated to 7 division medical services and hospital,” he said.
“The team recovered four vehicles one of which includes a gun truck mounted with an anti-aircraft gun, two white Hilux taken away from NNPC staff and one blue Hilux belonging to CJTF. The team also recovered large quantities of arms and ammunition, several spare tyres, many jerry cans containing petroleum, oil and lubricant, assorted drugs, improvised explosive device (IED) making materials, reflective jackets and a Motorola handheld radio, among others.
The team also neutralised many of the terrorists. The troops are not relenting in the pursuit, search and rescue effort.”
Nigeria relies on oil for two-thirds of its revenue. The NNPC is trying to reduce its reliance on crude from the southern Niger Delta where militant attacks cut production by more than a third in 2016, deepening the recession in the country.