Nigeria’s military Saturday repelled an attack on a northeastern town by Boko Haram Islamic extremists who, as they retreated, warned residents not to participate in the country’s elections in March.

Scores of the rebels assaulted Gombe in the morning and engaged in heavy fighting with the army. Two air force jets also attacked the rebels.

The Boko Haram fighters left in a convoy of vehicles carrying dozens of corpses, according to residents.

“They were heard telling our people in the villages leading to Gombe that they have not come to harm civilians but the security agents. They were also dropping copies of papers with messages ?written in Hausa warning people not to participate in the coming elections, lest they risk being killed,” said resident Malam Hassan.

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