MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - At least 20 people were killed when Islamist group Boko Haram attacked a town in northeast Nigeria, triggering clashes with troops stationed there, the military said on Sunday.
A spokesman for Nigerian forces in northeastern Borno state, which lies at the heart of a four-year-old Islamist insurgency, said the Islamists crept into the town of Damboa in the early hours of Saturday.
They killed five worshipers at a mosque as they said their morning prayers, he said.
"While they were unleashing their mayhem, troops ... engaged the terrorists, killing 15 in the process while others fled," the military spokesman, Captain Aliyu Danja, said in a statement obtained by Reuters.
The military often gives significantly higher casualty figures for insurgents than for its own men, and it is usually not possible to verify them independently.