At least 50 alleged insurgents were killed during clashes with Nigerian soldiers as security forces repelled an attack on a military base in the north-eastern state of Borno.
Six soldiers, including the commanding officer, died in the assault on the base and a nearby police station in the town of Damboa, a statement from Defence Ministry spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade said.
The daring move appeared to be a reprisal attack after a punishing air raid 24 hours earlier caused Boko Haram Islamic extremists to suffer heavy casualties, according to an officer who requested anonymity because he is not allowed to give information to reporters.
Modu Gwasha, member of a civilian defence group that fought alongside the soldiers, alleged that Boko Haram extremists burned several military vehicles during the assault, including two tanks. He added that he saw the corpses of at least 10 soldiers and five police officers.
Security forces have recently come under fire from some Nigerians who accuse the government of doing nothing to curb the increase in violence.
Previous attacks on military bases in the northeast have sent soldiers fleeing for safety.
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