The militants on Saturday evening invaded a base holding hundreds of soldiers in Yobe state -- where they abducted over 100 girls from a school earlier this year -- in an attack that lasted for hours, a military source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"Boko Haram terrorists attacked troops of the 81 Division Forward Brigade at Jilli village in Geidam district. The terrorists came in huge numbers around 7:30 pm (1830 GMT) and overran the base after a fierce battle that lasted till 9:10 pm," said the military source.
A leader of a local anti-jihadist militia said that the soldiers sustained casualties, but was unable to give a toll, attributing the attack to the Abu-Mus'ab Al-Barnawi faction of Boko Haram, which is known for targeting Nigerian forces.
"We learned that they drove from Lake Chad through Gubio (in nearby Borno state) and attacked the base," he said.
The two attacks highlight the tenuous hold Nigerian forces have on the remote northeast region and the persistent threat of Boko Haram, despite claims from Muhammadu Buhari's government the country is in a "post-conflict stabilisation phase." The former military ruler came to power three years ago on a promise to defeat Boko Haram, which is aligned to the Islamic State group and threatens security in the Lake Chad region.
But while there have been clear military gains since a counter-insurgency was launched in 2015, suicide bombings and raids remain a constant threat, particularly to civilians.(AFP) AMS
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