Boko Haram attacked passengers along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway in the Auno axis of Borno State on Thursday.
Troops rushed to the scene but it is unclear if the terrorists abducted some civilians before their arrival.
A military intelligence officer told PRNigeria that several persons on board commercial vehicles were saved.
Troops from 212 Battalion Garrison, Jakana, Goni Masari and Auno were mobilised to the scene. They later escorted the passengers to Damaturu and Maiduguri.
“The terrorists, who came in dozens, were all dressed in black, with militarized gun trucks. They carried other lethal weapons. Some of them painted their faces black.
“They daringly invaded the area with the intention to abduct many passengers and attack a military formation”, the source said.
A witness disclosed that two commercial vehicles and a Borno Express bus filled with commuters were caught up in the ambush.
“One golf (VW) car was set ablaze; people ran for their lives. The troops came, chased the terrorists away and protected the road,” he said.
The civilian confirmed that some of the soldiers guarded the rescued passengers as they continued their journey.