BREAKING: Three Nigerian soldiers killed in Boko Haram attack on military base

At least three soldiers were killed and several missing after a Boko Haram attack on a military base in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state , military and militia sources told AFP Thursday .

Boko Haram fighters believed to be from the IS- affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province late Wednesday attacked the base in the town of Kareto, 150 kilometres ( about 90 miles ) north of the state capital Maiduguri .

The militants temporarily dislodged troops from the base before being repelled with aerial support , the sources said .

“ We lost three soldiers in the fight and several others are still missing, ” a military officer in Maiduguri told AFP .

“ The terrorists were smoked out of the base by a fighter jet which deployed to the scene, ” said the officer who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the incident .

Troop reinforcements were sent to the base , the officer said . It was not clear if the jihadists took away weapons .

A civilian militia fighting Boko Haram in the area said troops withdrew to the town of Gubio, 60 km away, while Kareto residents fled across the border into Niger .

“ The bodies of three soldiers were recovered after the attack ,” said the militia who preferred not to be identified .

“ More troops have arrived in Kareto but most residents have not returned ,” he said .

It was the second attack on the military base in two years.

In April 2016, a Boko Haram raid left 24 soldiers wounded, according to military authorities .

Boko Haram jihadists late Wednesday also attacked Mammanti village, just outside Maiduguri , killing one person and burning the entire village before stealing hundreds of cattle , the local chief of the village and residents said .

“ The insurgents came around 11 :00 pm ( 2200 GMT ) and opened indiscriminate fire ,” Muhammad Mammanti, a resident, said .

“ They killed one person and burnt the whole village and stole our cattle ,” Mammanti said .

Earlier in the day a group of jihadists abducted seven women while working on a farm near the town of Bama , 70 km from Maiduguri , after killing their male escort , militia sources said .

Boko Haram has stepped up attacks on farmers and loggers in recent years , accusing them of passing information on the group to the military .

Despite the government’s insistence that the group is near defeat, Boko Haram has recently carried out major attacks on military and civilian targets , killing scores .

More than 27,000 people have died since the start of the insurgency in the remote northeast in 2009 and 1 . 8 million are still homeless .

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