ABUJA, March 15 (Xinhua) -- At least 212 people lost their lives in a gunfire between rebels and military operatives on Friday, according to local media reports.
Sources said at least five soldiers, among them a woman, were killed in the six-hour long attack in Maiduguri, capital of Nigeria's northeastern state of Borno.
Boko Haram was suspected behind the attack. Sources said it was trying to free some of its fighters in military detention.
Local media reports on Saturday said members of the civilian Joint Task Force counted at least 207 corpses of suspected Boko Haram members.
Boko Haram fighters dressed in military uniforms and stormed the area in vehicles painted in military colors as they attacked a military cantonment and freed some of their members, said Mallam Abdullahi Dere, a leader of the civilian group.
Reports said civilians arrested many of the Boko Haram fighters during the onslaught and handed them over to the military. Those who tried to fight back were lynched, according to a member of the youth volunteer force, Isa Maikati.
On Friday, a resident identified as Aliyu Gambo told Xinhua that the attack might be a reprisal of the current clampdown on the sect by military operatives who raided the Sambisa Forest and other hideouts of the insurgents.
Borno State, where the sect's headquarters is located, is currently under an emergency rule with Adamawa and Yobe, its two sister northeastern states which have also suffered deadly attacks by the Boko Haram.