At least seven soldiers lost their lives and many were injured on Tuesday after suspected members of Congress of Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) attacked a military base in Mainok, a village 65 kilometres from Maiduguri, Borno State, security sources said.
At about 1 p.m. on Tuesday, ISWAP fighters camouflaged in a seized police antiriot truck approached a military base and opened fire on unsuspecting soldiers near their trench outside Mainok village.
Sources said the attack lasted about 30 minutes.
"The soldiers were behind the new trench that has been dug outside Mainok when the insurgents arrived in an APC (armoured personnel carrier) that was recently snatched from the police, " an eyewitness said.
"Everyone was deceived by Boko Haram who used the police vehicle. It was a terrible attack that killed seven soldiers and left many injured.
" As I am talking to you some soldiers are yet to be accounted for since the attack yesterday."
Mainok is one of the three notorious communities along the Kano-Maiduguri highway where Boko Haram has been staging daily attacks since the beginning of this year.
Another military source told PREMIUM TIMES the soldiers had recovered the dead bodies of their fallen colleagues and moved the wounded to a medical facility for treatment.
About two weeks ago, the military command in Maiduguri moved to evacuate residents of the communities to an IDP camp following a deadly attack on the convoy of the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Olusegun Adeniyi.
Mr Adeniyi, a major-general, came under heavy firing of ISWAP on the evening of January 6 at a location between Mainok and Jakana, which reportedly led to the death of his driver.
Though the Borno state government had halted the proposed evacuation and instead provided 70 brand new patrol vehicles for the security agencies to man the plagued highway, the attack still continued unabated.
The military has not issued any statement concerning this latest assault on its base.