A security source told The Anadolu Agency that heavy clashes have been taking place since the early hours of Sunday around Njimtilo, a community located west of Maiduguri, the capital and the largest city of restive Borno State.
"Shooting is underway now. Boko Haram men are attempting to enter and attack Maiduguri. The shooting you are hearing are from our troops trying to repel the attack," the source, who requested anonymity, told AA on phone as the sound of heavy gunfire echoed in the background.
A telephone message to reporters in Maiduguri early Sunday morning urged residents not to panic. "Good morning. Don't panic," a police officer said in the message.
Idris Musa, who lives near Njimtilo, confirmed the attack and said there is panic among residents in the area.
"Everybody is evacuating his family now. The shooting started in the midnight and we thought it will subside but it hasn't. It is getting worse and I am moving my family out of the area like everybody," he told AA on phone.
"It is becoming scarier because the Boko Haram aren't giving up; they're advancing toward the city despite the resistance from soldiers," he added.
Boko Haram has made repeated attempts to invade Maiduguri in the past. On Dec. 2 of 2013, it attacked an army and air force base, killing at least 24 people including military personnel.
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