More than 100 civilians and several soldiers have been killed during clashes between Nigerian military forces and Takfiri Boko Haram militants in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno State.
A military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said on Tuesday that Nigerian government forces on Monday tried in vain to regain control over the border town of Gwoza, situated about 135 kilometers (83 miles) southeast of the state capital of Maiduguri.
The town has been under Boko Haram control for more than a week.
“The sheer number of the militants and the fact that they were heavily armed prompted the ground troops to request for reinforcements from the air force,” the military official said.
The notorious Takfiri group Boko Haram has repeatedly targeted Nigerian civilians, mostly in Borno, killing more than 2,000 civilians since January.
On April 14, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 students from their secondary school in the town of Chibok in Borno.
Reports say 57 of the girls managed to escape, but 219 are still believed to be in captivity, and international efforts to locate and rescue them have failed so far.
Boko Haram – whose name means “Western education is forbidden” – says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.