Nigerian soldiers thwarted an attempted terrorist attack by suspected Boko Haram militants on the city of Maiduguri Monday, sending panicked residents fleeing for their lives.
Army officials gave no details on what happened.
But one a local militia leader told the French News Agency the militants used the cover of a civilian convoy to approach a military checkpoint outside the city and started firing.
Soldiers responded with their own gunfire. Reinforcements from inside Maiduguri rushed to the scene, driving off the would-be terrorists.
The number of casualties is unclear.
Boko Haram has killed about 20,000 people in its eight-year long insurgency aimed at turning parts of Nigerian into a staunchly-Islamic state.
Police, civilians, churches, and mosques, have been among its targets and security has been stepped up across Nigeria for Christmas.