Nigeria militants ‘suffer losses’

The leader of the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar ShekauLeader Abubakar Shekau has announced a caliphate in areas Boko Haram controls

The Nigerian army says it has repelled an attack by Islamist militants Boko Haram on the village of Bama in the country’s north-east.

The rebels tried to storm the town on Monday morning, officials said.

Security sources were quoted as saying dozens of fighters had been killed, but this has not been confirmed.

Boko Haram recently announced it had established an Islamic state in the towns and villages it controls in north-eastern Nigeria.

The town of Bama is 70km (44 miles) from the capital of Borno state, Maiduguri.

“There was an attempt by the Boko Haram people to enter and capture Bama. But thank God for the efforts of the soldiers stationed near the mobile police unit who were able to repel them,” one witness, Mohammed Bunu Ahmed, told Reuters news agency.

However, many of the town’s residents have fled because of the fighting.

The group’s five-year insurgency has intensified in recent months despite the deployment of thousands of extra troops to the worst-affected areas.