Suspected Boko Haram terrorists killed 20 soldiers and rendered nearly 1,000 people homeless in an attack on the hometown of the National Security Adviser, Reuters has reported.
Reuters also quotes two residents and a military source as saying the militants entered Monguno in Borno state posing as a convoy of soldiers on Tuesday evening.
They then attacked military positions inside the town and destroyed at least 750 homes in the process.
A military spokesman declined to comment, but Monguno resident, Gumati Sadu, said people fled into the bush for safety during the fighting and that three civilians were killed by stray bullets.
Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the attack on its Amaq news agency.
It said that one of its militants detonated a car bomb in the town, killing at least 8 soldiers and destroying 3 armored vehicles.
The group also said it had seized a vehicle, weapons and ammunition before leaving the town.
ISWAP split from Islamist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since staged its own frequent attacks in the region.
Boko Haram’s decade-long insurgency campaign has killed thousands and displaced millions in northeastern Nigeria.
Thousands in Monguno had already been displaced from their homes elsewhere in Borno state by militants. Aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres warned last year that many thousands in Monguno lacked proper shelter, water, sanitation and food.
The Federal government said recently it would withdraw soldiers from hotlines and ask the police to take over security operations.