Three Nigerian soldiers were killed following a gunfight with Boko Haram in the country’s northeastern state of Borno, according to military sources and local residents on Thursday.

The gunfight, which lasted almost five hours, ensued late Wednesday when troops repelled an attack by the Boko Haram militants who invaded Mammanti, a village near Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, sources told Xinhua.

One military officer who was not authorized to speak to the media on the incident said the troops showed gallantry in repelling the attack.

“It was just unfortunate that we lost three of our gallant troops. The soldiers were very brave and ensured the Boko Haram militants did not successfully attack the community,” said the officer, who craved for anonymity.

Another military officer said the Boko Haram militants came in a large number, moving toward Molai, a community located 2 km to Maiduguri.

Locals said they were in serious panic throughout the gunfight as sounds of gunshots reverberated around the community. Most of them scampered for safety, hiding in the nearby bushes.

Usman Bala, a leader of the government-backed militia group, the Civilian Joint Task Force, described the Wednesday night experience as “a tough battle between the military and the enemies.”

At a time, we saw military jets hovering overhead. “For now, we are not sure about the number of Boko Haram fighters killed during the gunfight,” Bala added.

The Nigerian military is yet to officially make a comment on the gunfight. Enditem

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