Boko Haram extremists have seized a military base in northeast Nigeria, days after an attack left five troops dead and 30 missing, security sources and residents said Saturday.
A column of fighters from the ISIS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in trucks and on motorcycles stormed into the base in the town of Magumeri, 50 kilometers from the Borno state capital Maiduguri late Friday.
The militants overran the base, hauling away weapons before they were forced out.
“The terrorists dislodged troops from the base after an intense fight,” a military officer told AFP.
“We lost weapons and equipment to the terrorists but it is not clear if there was any human loss,” said the officer, who asked not to be named.
The extremists arrived in the town around 5:00 pm (1600 GMT) and engaged troops in an hour-long fight before they “gained the upper hand and chased the troops away,” militia leader Gremah Kaka told AFP.
“The insurgents overpowered the soldiers and forced them to flee into the bush,” he said.
Kaka said the extremists stayed in the base for “more than four hours” before they were dislodged by reinforcements from another base in Gubio, 46 kilometers away.
ISWAP has since July last year targeted dozens of military bases in attacks that saw the jihadists kill scores of soldiers.
The military authorities have always denied any casualties.