Boko Haram fighters were repelled from the city of Maiduguri following a battle with the Nigerian army in which scores were killed on both sides, a security official told Reuters.
Earlier in the day, all roads were closed and commercial activity was shut down, a security official told Reuters. AFP has reported that along with the military, residents and vigilantes are fighting back against Boko Haram fighters.
The attack came after Saturday's Boko Haram attack on a village near Maiduguri. Later that day, President Goodluck Jonathan gave an election campaign speech in Maiduguri, promising to end Boko Haram violence. The opposition candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, was scheduled to arrive for a campaign stop in the city on Monday.
Maiduguri is the capital of Nigeria's northwestern Borno State, with a population of 1.2 million people.
Boko Haram is a militant group, which aims at establishing an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. Large swathes of land in the Borno State, as well as in neighboring Adamawa and Yobe are believed to be under control of the Islamists. The Boko Haram insurgency has left over 13,000 people dead since 2009.
On January 4, Boko Haram militants captured the town of Baga in Borno State, reportedly killing hundreds. "The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga was enormous," Muhammad Abba Gava, a spokesman for a local defense group that fights militants, told the Associated Press. Reports emerged that approximately 2,000 people, mostly women, children and the elderly, were killed, according to Amnesty International. Nigerian military said that the assault on Baga left 150 people dead, according