Militants in northeastern Nigeria ambushed a 200-vehicle convoy after fighting with security forces, resulting in at least two deaths. The incident occurred in the restive Borno state, on a highway connecting Borno's capital Maiduguri to Damboa town, on Tuesday (20 June).
Police were quoted by local media as saying militants killed at least one police officer and one truck driver, while an unspecified number of people were also injured.
"Sgt. Bala Tiishe was killed in the vehicle. A civilian, Mustapha Modu, driving a truck conveying drugs for Internally Displaced Persons was also killed," Damian Chukwu, the Borno Police Commissioner, told the Vanguard newspaper.
The convoy included a burial party of a late policewoman who died last week and a bus with police officers.
Witnesses said militants armed with heavy weapons attacked the convoy from the rear in an assault that lasted about 30 minutes.
The area of the ambush is often targeted by Boko Haram militants, who have waged a seven-year-long insurgency against the Nigerian government.
The attack came two days after Boko Haram was accused of killing between eight and 17 people during multiple bomb blasts in a crowded area of Maiduguri, which is the group's birthplace and the epicentre of its insurgency.
Earlier in June, a video purportedly showing fighting at the hands of Boko Haram in Maiduguri emerged.
The video contained people running and screaming, while gunshots could be heard in the background. It was posted to Twitter on 7 June by a Nigerian academic and analyst with the caption: "Maiduguri is currently under Boko Haram attack."
The video surfaced as at least ten people were killed and 40 injured during multiple bombings at mosques in the town, as the army repelled a Boko Haram attack against the Jiddari Polo community in the town's south.
Who are Boko Haram militants?
Boko Haram fights against Western influence in Nigeria and aims to impose its version of Sharia law throughout occupied territories. In 2016, the group officially allied with Isis.
The UN says at least 20,000 people have died in Nigeria and neighbouring states since the Boko Haram insurgency became violent in 2009. The conflict has also displaced at least 2.1 million people.
The group used to control total territory the size of Belgium. However, Nigeria's ongoing military operation, Lafiya Dole, and a regional offensive – consisting of 8,700 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin – have scored some successes, with soldiers recapturing key territories and releasing thousands of civilians held captive by the group.
Earlier this year, a Boko Haram faction released 82 girls who had been held captive since April 2014. The release was the result of negotiations that involved several actors, including the Swiss government.
The release suggested there could be further collaboration between the government and the group, now split in at least two factions, after Isis replaced Abubakar Shekau as leader with Abu Musab al-Barnawi, a former Boko Haram spokesperson.
The country's government and army have often claimed the fight against the insurgents is over, but violence has continued since.