Scores of Boko Haram militants have been killed in an encounter with military troops early Monday morning in an attempt to take over Bama town in Borno State.
Residents say about 60 of the insurgents were felled while over 30 others were also said to have been injured in the battle for the town which lasted some five hours.
According to eyewitness accounts, the insurgents dressed in military uniforms and armed with sophisticated riffles, invaded the town in a convoy of vehicles and motorbikes through the Bama-Banki-Gwoza road at about 5.00 am but were intercepted by military troops near the Bama Mobile Police Unit located about five kilometers away from the town.
Residents said the attack resembled that on Gwoza some weeks ago during which the insurgents completely ran over the town and captured it, adding that but for the timely successful intervention of the army the town would have become a Boko Haram territory.
Many fear-gripped residents were forced to flee to Maiduguri and other surrounding villages in the midst of the crossfire and are now waiting to be rehabilitated by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
The military has confirmed the encounter, but said it cannot give exert figures of the casualty at the moment.
In a statement by the deputy director, Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, a colonel, said the curfew imposed on the state from 9pm-6am has been reviewed and is now 7pm to 6am due to the deteriorating security situation in the state.
Usman stressed that no one was exempted from the curfew, insisting that anyone found flouting the directive will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.