Nigerian troops thwarted a Boko Haram attack on the northeastern city of Damaturu, killing several jihadists and seizing weapons, the army said yesterday.
Tuesday's attempted raid on the capital of Yobe state was the first time since late 2014 that the insurgents had attacked the city, residents told AFP.
But army spokesman Njoka Irabor said in a statement that soldiers had "successfully laid an ambush which led to the extermination of many Boko Haram terrorists".
"The vigilant troops effectively ambushed the criminals (a) few metres (yards) ahead of Maisandari community (on) the outskirts of the city of Damaturu," he added.
Gun trucks and a cache of arms and ammunition were recovered, he said.
The attack followed the evacuation of some 2,000 people from Jakana village, some 90 kilometres (55 miles) from Damaturu on the road to Maiduguri, in neighbouring Borno state on Tuesday.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said troops escorted the residents to the Bakassi camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Maiduguri "for their own safety".