Six people were killed and many soldiers wounded when Boko Haram terrorists loyal to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked Damasak in Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State at night on Saturday.
It was learnt that three women, a man and two soldiers lost their lives during the attack but other sources gave higher figures.
The United Nations has condemned the attack saying thousands of people would face serious humanitarian challenges.
Locals said the assailants had destroyed the United Nations Hub housing all the workers of the international organisation.
The hub was established in Damasak, located 188 from Maiduguri in the northern part of Borno to fast track support for victims of Boko Haram excesses. The town had survived several attacks in the last 11 years.
It was learnt that the insurgents stormed Damasak in the evening and engaged the troops from multiple locations, which led to the burning down of the UN hub and others infrastructures.
While some of the terrorists were engaging the troops at their camps, others were busy burning NGOs warehouses near the UN hub.
A local source said the residence of the traditional ruler of Damasak, and the Norwegian Refugees Commission (NRC) facilities at Fulatari Ward, were also torched.
“The warehouse of the World Food Programme (WFP), which was filled with assorted food items, was completely looted.
“They also carted away medicine and other equipment at a nearby government hospital. They stole the belongings of the poor people who are already in need of support.
“Many vehicles belonging to all the humanitarian agencies in the town were either stolen or burnt,” the source said.
But military authorities said Nigerian troops had repelled the violent group, killed some of the attackers while others fled with injuries.
One of them claimed that the onslaught was foiled by the troops with the help of air support.
He said two soldiers lost their lives and three others sustained various degrees of injuries.
The Chairman of Mobbar LGA, Mustapha Bunu Kolo, who confirmed the attack to few journalists, described what happened as “worrisome”.
“Yes, there was a devastating Boko Haram attack in Damasak yesterday night…The insurgents destroyed all humanitarian hubs and their facilities after carting away foodstuff at one of their main warehouses.
“The insurgents also went to General Hospital and carted away medical consumables with a brand new ambulance stationed at the facility,” Kolo informed.
Another source said the Boko Haram fighters attacked both the 5 Army Brigade and 145 Battalion simultaneously thereby throwing the whole town into confusion.
He added that they burnt the house of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO).
“The inhabitants of Damasak town were thrown into a panic mode as a result of the gun duel between the Nigeria troops and the terrorists who drove gun trucks.
“While retreating from the town, they carted away an unspecified number of vehicles belonging to NGOs and other people. They looted food items worth millions of naira,” he said.
Daily Trust was told that the terrorists attacked the town basically to look for food, medicaments and logistics, saying they have for long, shelved the idea of territorial conquest.
“If you look at their recent exploits, you will discover that they only attack military formations and soft targets in order to get food and fighting equipment,” a security expert familiar with happenings in the region, said.
“Even when the military retreated in order to restrategise, they rarely meet the attackers in those places because they (Boko Haram) these days move out of such places and recoil in their safe locations around the shores of the Lake Chad,” he said.
Unconfirmed reports indicated a military fighter jet dispatched to give support to ground troops engaging the assailants had mistakenly dropped a bomb on some locals attending a naming ceremony.