As the suspected Boko Haram militants snuck into Monguno in Borno state on Tuesday, 7th January, 2020, they first posed as a convoy of soldiers.
Once inside Monguno however, they went for the soldiers guarding the northeastern community, destroyed at least 750 homes and sent residents scampering into surrounding bushes.
When the dust settled in Monguno and gunpowder grew cold at dusk, about 20 soldiers had been killed and over 1,000 people rendered homeless, according to two residents and a military source who spoke to Reuters.
One Monguno resident who identified himself as Gumati Sadu said people fled into the bush for safety during the fighting. Sadu added that three civilians were killed by stray bullets of the terrorist.
Boko Haram splinter group, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), claimed responsibility for the attack on its Amaq news agency.
According to the dreaded Terrorist group, one of its militants detonated a car bomb in the town, killing at least 8 soldiers and destroying 3 armored vehicles.
The group also said it had seized a vehicle, weapons and ammunition before leaving the town.
ISWAP split from terrorist Boko Haram sect in 2016 over operational differences and has since staged its own frequent attacks in the region.
The Boko Haram Terrorists has waged a war against the Nigerian state since the year 2009. The decade-long insurgency has killed thousands and displaced millions in northeastern part of Nigeria.
AccordingReuters; thousands in Monguno had already been displaced from their homes elsewhere in Borno by militants.
The dreaded Boko Haram Terrorists has renewed attacks on the northeast since the turn of the year and since Chadian soldiers withdrew from the joint regional offensive against the terrorists.
There have been terrorist attacks along the Damaturu-Maiduguri road, a bomb attack that killed over 30 in the market town of Gamboru and sporadic soft target attacks that have killed civilians and soldiers alike, since the new year 2020.