Jihadists aligned with the Islamic State militant group have captured a military base in Borno state after overnight clashes with troops.
According to AFP, machine-gun wielding fighters from Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked the base in the town of Marte in the Lake Chad area overnight Friday into Saturday.
“The priority now is to reclaim the base from the terrorists and an operation is underway,” the news agency quoted a source as saying.
“We took a hit from ISWAP terrorists. They raided the base in Marte after a fierce battle.”
He said the army “incurred losses” but it was not clear how many people had died or the level of destruction inflicted by the insurgents.
Last week, the jihadists attacked the Marte base but were repelled, prompting them to mobilise more fighters for the overnight raid.
In November last year, Nigerian government officials began the phased return of residents to Marte six years after the jihadists pushed them out.
The town, 130 kilometres (80 miles) from the regional capital Maiduguri, was once considered the Lake Chad region’s breadbasket.
SaharaReporters, New York