A view shows the damage at the site of an attack by Boko Haram militants in the northeast city of Maiduguri, Nigeria, April 27, 2018. (Photo: VCG)
At least 30 Nigerian soldiers were killed by Boko Haram force in a fight near the border with Niger, multiple report said on Saturday.
A military source told AFP that scores of Boko Haram militants stormed the base at Zari village in northern Borno state late Thursday and briefly seized it after a fierce battle.
"They came in large numbers in trucks and carrying heavy weapons and engaged soldiers in a battle that lasted for an hour," a military officer said.
"We lost at least 30 men," the officer said, adding that the attack took place at around 4:00 pm.
Boko Haram has intensified attacks on military targets in recent months. The attacks appear to undermine repeated claims by the military that Boko Haram had been defeated.
The militants took weapons and military equipment before they were pushed out of the base by troops with aerial support, said a second military source who gave a similar death toll.
The militants were pursued and bombarded by a fighter jet, said the military sources. "The terrorists also suffered heavy casualty from the bombardment," one of the military officers said.
The jihadists are thought to have attacked the base from the nearby Garunda village, where 17 troops were killed and 14 injured in an attack on another military base last month, the sources said.
In a statement late Friday, the Nigerian military confirmed troops fought Boko Haram "insurgents on rampage to loot the community and extort money from villagers."
The Nigerian army has on several occasions disputed reports on losses to Boko Haram and has in some cases played them down.
On July 14 Boko Haram militants overran a military base in Jilli village, in neighbouring Yobe state when dozens of troops were said to be been killed, wounded or missing.
The army at the time conceded the base was attacked but said troops remobilized and succeeded in repelling the attackers.
The Boko Haram insurgency which is in its ninth year has left 20,000 people dead and displaced 2.6 million.
Soldiers and civilians have also been targeted in separate attacks in neighbouring Chad and Niger.