Residents of Magumeri town in Northeast Nigeria say they fled to a nearby forest as the militants came in firing randomly and lobbing explosive devices.

In this Friday February 24, 2006 file photo, militants wearing black masks, military fatigues and carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles, patrol the creeks of the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. (File Photo AP)
In this Friday February 24, 2006 file photo, militants wearing black masks, military fatigues and carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles, patrol the creeks of the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. (File Photo AP) (AP)

Suspected members of militant group Boko Haram took over a town in the restive state of Borno in northeast Nigeria on Saturday, residents said on Saturday.

The attack comes days after a suicide bomber killed at least 50 people at a mosque in neighboring Adamawa state. The incident was marked as one of the deadliest attacks since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in 2015, pledging to end the eight-year insurgency.

Residents said an armed group of men entered Magumeri, around 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Borno state capital Maiduguri, in the evening. 

As the insurgents, whom they suspected to be associated with Boko Haram, opened fire and threw grenades, the residents ran away, finding refuge in a nearby forest.  

"We hurriedly took our families to the bushes before they could get us. Almost every resident is hiding here," said Wakil Bulama, one of two residents said.

A military source who did not want to be identified said Magumeri had been attacked but could not confirm whether it had been seized.

The Boko Haram militants have been waging an insurgency in northern Nigeria since 2009 which killed at least 20,000 people and left more than 2.6 million others homeless.

Source: Reuters