Nigerian official denies fresh Boko Haram assault, says 'only 100' killed

LAGOS – A local Nigerian official has denied reports about a fresh Boko Haram assault on the north-eastern Baga town, where militants overran a military base last week.

"There is no fresh attack in Baga beyond what happened last weekend," Baga district chief Alhaji Baba Abba Hassan told reporters on Thursday.

Media reports earlier said that Boko Haram militants had attacked Baga in Borno State on Wednesday, a few days after the militants launched a daring attack on the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in the town.

Reports said that more than 2,000 people had been killed in Saturday's attack, which the Nigerian official has dismissed as "outrageous".

"The figure of 2000 quoted is outrageous," he said.

"Boko Haram has killed many people, more than 100, many that survived fled to Niger and Chad," Hassan said.

"Corpses litter the town and surrounding bushes of Baga as I speak now. We don't even have access to the place to pick the corpses for decent burial," he added.

Hassan said that Baga town is still under Boko Haram control, going on to claim that militants have captured Gwoza town, south of Borno State.

"Some people have also fled to the state capital. Most of the people killed are women and children who were trying to flee when the Boko Haram stormed the town. Boko Haram pursued them even into the surrounding bushes," he said.

For the last five years, Nigeria has battled a fierce Boko Haram insurgency that has ravaged the country's volatile northeastern region.

A seemingly emboldened Boko Haram recently stepped up its militant activity even further, seizing several areas in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, where it has declared a self-styled "Islamic caliphate."

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