Auno town, 24 kilometres East of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital is under fire from insurgents in the north east of the country.
Details are sketchy but hundreds are said to have fled into nearby bushes, amidst calls for prayers for people in the sleepy town who were caught unawares by the attack that came at about 8:00 p.m.
The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a faction of Boko Haram, is fingered for the latest attack.
There has been no word from the military which sources said may be waiting for a complete picture of the situation before going public, even as it is believed to have scrambled a response to the attack.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja met a delegation from Borno State, during which he reasserted his administration’s unwavering support to equip the military to overcome the insurgency in the North-East.
The President also told the delegation led by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State that the collective safety and security of civilians would continue to remain paramount in the administration’s strategy to restore peace and stability in the region.
‘‘Having been a former Governor in the North East, a GOC in the region and very familiar with the terrain, I assure you that as Commander-in-Chief, I’ll raise the standard of the Nigerian Armed Forces and get the resources to encourage them to do better than what they are doing, ’’ he said.
The President told the delegation comprising political, traditional, religious, women and media leaders in the State that he was impressed by their leadership roles and participation in helping the government deal with the insurgency in the North East.
The President commended the contributions of the stakeholders from Borno State particularly the need for more air support for troops on the ground and coordination among different security agencies.
‘‘I am getting at least a weekly situation report from the services and of course from other sources. I encourage the commanders to remain committed,’’ he said.
President Buhari thanked Governor Shettima for demonstrating leadership in the State during these difficult times.
‘‘I have an idea how much you are doing and I very much appreciate it. I’m sure that has earned you more respect from the people,’’ he said.
Earlier in his remarks, Governor Shettima recounted that before 2015, Boko Haram had almost completely overrun the State, occupying many local government areas because the state government did not receive the necessary support and succour from the then Federal Government.
He told the President: ‘‘we are here as a people who worked, prayed and waited for your presidency in the firm belief that with you as Commander-in-Chief, Boko Haram will become history.
‘‘We are here because you have demonstrated empathy for Borno people and the overriding commitment to end Boko Haram.
‘‘We are here because we knew you would welcome us without any suspicion or contempt.’’
Other stakeholders from the State who made comments included Bishop Mohammed Naga, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Borno State, Dr Bulama Mali Gubio, Secretary, Borno Elders’ Forum, Maina Ma’aji Lawal, former Governor of the State, HRH Muhammad Masta II bn Al-Amin El-Kanemi, Emir of Dikwa, representing the Shehu of Borno, Senator representing Borno North, Abubakar Kyari and Senator Ali Ndume, Leader, Borno Caucus, National Assembly