Nigeria’s military has repelled a new attack by militant Islamist group Boko Haram on the strategically important north-eastern city of Maiduguri, an army source has told the BBC.
Dozens of militants and soldiers were reportedly killed during a major assault on the city on Sunday.
The city is quiet on Monday, with some businesses open, a BBC reporter says.
Earlier on Sunday, Boko Haram captured the north-eastern town of Monguno – the latest to be seized by the group.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
It launched an insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria in 2009 to create an Islamic state.
US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Nigeria on Sunday to call for peaceful elections next month.
The vote looks set to be the closest since the end of military rule 15 years ago.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”8″]
BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross says that Mr Kerry is in Nigeria to show solidarity in the fight against Boko Haram.
Government troops beat back Boko Haram fighters after they launched an assault on Maiduguri on Sunday night – the second in less than 24 hours, an army source said.
Both attacks were in the Jimtilo district.
Loud explosions were heard in the city, a resident told the BBC Hausa service.
A 24-hour curfew was imposed on Sunday but this has since been relaxed.
Our correspondent says the militants have captured so much territory surrounding Maiduguri that there is only one road in and out which is considered safe.
He says there is still a great danger that Boko Haram will return to try again.
City under siege
The army in Monguno, 140km (85 miles) north of Maiduguri was reported to have been overwhelmed, with houses set on fire on Sunday.
A journalist in Maiduguri told the BBC that fleeing soldiers from Monguno had arrived at the barracks in Maiduguri.
Thousands of people have been killed in the insurgency, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria. (BBC)