At least 10 people, among them a policeman and an Immigration officer, were reported killed when gunmen launched an attack Tuesday night on Banki town on the Borno State border with Cameroon.
Authorities said five of those killed were among the attackers, while three other civilians were also shot dead.
Locals said about 30 gunmen invaded the town around 7pm, setting fire to the Customs and Immigration services outposts in the area.
They then attempted to overrun a divisional police station but were repelled.
Sources said the attacks, which lasted for about three hours, caused great panic among residents as many were said to have stayed indoors even till the early hours of yesterday. “It was bad and many of us couldn’t sleep throughout the night because of the gunshots. You known anybody could be a target or be hit by stray bullet in such situation,” one of the residents of the area said.
Borno State police commissioner Bala Hassan and spokesman for the Joint Task Force Sagir Musa confirmed the attack to newsmen yesterday.
Hassan said the gunmen attempted to attack a police station in Banki but were repelled by the officers on duty.
He added that the policemen killed five of the attackers, who he called hoodlums, during a shootout.
They also recovered two AK 47 rifles, 12 rounds of live ammunition and one of the operational vehicles of the gunmen, he added.
The JTF spokesman, for his part, confirmed the killing of three civilians, a policeman and an Immigration officer in the attack.
He said the gunmen shot sporadically to cause panic before the attack on Immigration and Custom outposts, and that they also attempted to attack the Divisional Police Station.
Banki is in Bama Local Government Area, which is among the five Borno LGAs under a state of emergency declared by President Jonathan in December, following Boko Haram violence.
Bama is hometown to Habibu Bama, one of the key suspects in the Christmas Day bombing at Madalla, claimed by the Boko Haram sect. He was declared wanted by the SSS in February.
The security agencies did not blame any particular group for the Tuesday attack in Banki.