Islamist Boko Haram insurgents have overrun much of a northeastern Nigerian town after hours of fighting that killed scores and displaced thousands of residents, security sources said on Tuesday.

The Islamists launched an attack on the town of Bama, 70 km (45 miles) from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, on Monday. They were initially repelled but came back in greater numbers overnight, the sources and witnesses said.

Nigeria’s defense spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. The sources said there were heavy casualties on both sides and one said at least 5,000 people fled the town.

In a bungled air strike, several Nigerian troops were killed at the Bama armory by a fighter jet targeting the insurgents, a soldier on the ground told Reuters.

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