Boko Haram fighters stormed a vital military base in Borno on Sunday, killing at least thirty soldiers and a general.
According to military sources who spoke to journalists, insurgents dressed themselves as friendly troops and entered the reinforced headquarters of the strong 156 Task Force Battalion in Mainok.
The timing of the attack, according to military sources, raised suspicions that internal military operations, especially communication signals, had been leaked to the insurgents.
A request for comment from a military spokesman about the attack, which was still reportedly underway as of late Sunday, was not immediately returned.
Terrorists have attacked and destroyed critical military hardware, in yet another devastating development for Nigerian troops, who have been fighting the dreaded sect on the frontlines since 2009.
At least 50 troops are said to have deserted the battalion and gone to a nearby military base, with more believed to be lost in the jungle.
The battalion’s commander was a lieutenant-colonel, and Peoples Gazette has withheld his name until the military has properly notified his kin.
The attack occurred as Nigerian forces attempted to evict terrorists from Geidam, a large town in neighbouring Yobe that had been overrun the previous week.
In recent weeks, the new army chief Ibrahim Attahiru promised to take the battle to the rebels, ordering the bombing of their hideouts to deter attacks and bring the decades-long campaign to an end.