Eight people are thought to have died when jihadists seized Gudumbali on Friday

Boko Haram

s military has said it has restored order after Boko Haram fighters took control of a town in the countrys remote north-east, sparking fears about the groups resurgence.

Scores of jihadists believed to be loyal to a faction backed by Islamic State overran troops in Gudumbali on Friday, according to local officials and sources.

At least eight civilians are thought to have been killed and thoands were more forced to flee, in the extremists first major seizure of a town in two years.

It followed a of deadly attacks on troops, which have called into question repeated and military claims that is weakened to the point of defeat.

A n army spokesman, Brig Gen Texas Chwu, said on Saturday he was not aware of the attack but on Sunday confirmed the incident.

The encounter took place when the insurgents attacked the , set some buildings ablaze and quickly withdrew from the , he said. However, no human casualty was recorded in the encounter. The troops have regrouped and normalcy has been restored. The troops have also been reinforced with additional troops to dominate the general area.

s military regularly trumpets its apparent successes against and has strongly denied previo reports of army casualties in attacks.

There was no independent verication of Chw claim, as access to areas outside the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, is tightly controlled by the military.

Nine years of conflict has claimed at least 20,000 lives in north-east Nigeria and also destroyed teles in rural areas.

Gudumbali is in the Guzamala area of Borno and one of a number of places where people displaced by the long-running conflict have been encouraged to return.

Aid agencies dealing with the humanitarian effects of the insurgency believe the returns are being dictated by politics, with elections scheduled for February next year.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who was elected in 2015 on a promise to defeat , is hoping to secure a second four-year term.

He first said was nically defeated in late 2015 and recently said Borno was in a post-conflict stabilisation phase, despite the continued attacks.

The West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction broke away in 2016 becae of the long-time leader Abubakar Sheka indiscriminate targeting of civilians.

ISWAP is believed to be trying to get the support of local people in the Mlim-majority region by attacking only and military targets.

Chwu called for people to remain calm and resilient but also to be aware of strange faces, to prevent fleeing terrorists from infiltrating and hibernating in their communities.

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