Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has seized the Nigerian town of Chibok from which the insurgents kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in April.
A local official said that thousands of residents are “just trying to escape with their lives”.
He said the fighters took Chibok on Thursday afternoon.
Dozens of the kidnapped girls escaped in the first couple of days after their capture from a boarding school outside the town, but 219 remain missing.
Boko Haram has taken control of several towns since the military announced a ceasefire on October 17.