At least 12 Nigerian soldiers have been killed and dozens of others have gone missing following clashes with militants in the northeastern state of Borno.

Iran Press/ Africa: The fighting followed an attack on Friday by militants in the troubled area, where a splinter group of Boko Haram called "Daesh in West Africa" is influential.

The poor communication network in the remote area delayed the relay of the details of the attack, three military sources said on Sunday according to Reuters.

The Nigerian army officially said it had repelled the attack, in which it said one soldier was killed and another was injured. Militants opened fire on troops while aid materials were being distributed in Gudumbali.

"The troops, however, fought gallantly and outmaneuvered the attackers inflicting heavy casualties on them. Unfortunately, a soldier paid the supreme price during the encounter, while another was wounded in action," the statement read.

Since 2009, militants have killed at least 20,000 persons and made over 2.6 million others homeless. In 2015, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to Daesh.

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari's security record has become a campaign issue two months ahead of an election in which he is seeking a second term. Buhari, a former general, came to power in 2015 on a platform of stamping out Boko Haram. But despite retaking swathes of territory from the group, Boko Haram continues to stage attacks targeting both civilians and military personnel. 101/202


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