Hundreds of suspected Boko Haram terrorists launched a fierce attack Friday on Bama, Borno state, sacking the military barrack there, and killing troops and their families in what a senior military official called another "sad day" for a town that has witnessed multiple bloodshed this year.
Security officials and witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES Friday noon that the attackers came in their numbers in the morning and killed "everything in sight."
The military confirmed the attack in a statement released later Friday.
Major-General Chris Olukolade, the Director Defence Information said Bama barracks was attacked by terrorists who came from cells located across Nigerian Border with Cameroun through Banki town.
"High caliber weapons such as anti-aircraft and rocket propelled guns were freely used in the attack that lasted several hours," he said.
He said ground troops backed by the Air Force repelled the attack and were in pursuit of the insurgents. He did not give the number of casualties.
"Details of casualties recorded in the incident will be released when the ongoing cordon and search operations in the general area is concluded," he said.
But officials and witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES the attack was massive and sweeping as the barrack, with the attackers descending on women and children. The rampage lasted hours, they said.
Bama has witnessed some of the fiercest attacks this year as insurgents have struck multiple times killing many.
Dozens of people died in repeated attacks in the town, which lies about 65km from the state capital Maiduguri. The latest attack occurred in August-forcing several residents to flee to neighbouring communities.
In November 2013, residents said normalcy had returned to the area with the increased presence of security forces.