Soldiers on Sunday prevented Boko Haram fighters from mounting a barricade on Damaturu-Maiduguri highway in Borno State.
The soldiers reportedly engaged the insurgents in a gun battle around Mainok and Jakana towns.
A commercial driver told Daily Trust that the incident happened shortly after the usual daily road closure was eased in the morning.
Troops usually close the road in the evening and open it at 7am every day.
The driver said suspected insurgents who were about to mount road barricades and attack travellers were overpowered and driven away by soldiers.
“We were on our way to Maiduguri after spending the night in Damaturu when we were stopped by soldiers at a place after Mainok.
“We were earlier asked to turn back and later we were told to stay there. Shots were later fired ahead of us, which sounded like gunfire exchange. We were asked to proceed after about thirty five minutes,” he said.
He said extra patrols were stationed along the road.
A military source said two of the attackers were killed while the remaining ones who fled are suspected to be hiding in the bush.
He said, “Soldiers have gone after them.”
Boko Haram has made life a hell for those who ply that route. It was on the route that a newlywed bride was abducted last week but she was freed 24 hours after.
Before decorating the new service chiefs on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari gave them a few weeks to tackle the widespread insecurity in the country.