MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) -- Nigeria's Ministry of Defense says it has repelled a terrorist attack aimed at freeing Islamic extremists detained at the main military barracks in the northern city of Maiduguri.
Spokesman Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade said the attackers suffered "heavy casualties" including some detainees killed by friendly fire.
He said four soldiers were wounded in Friday morning's attack on the headquarters of a 10-month-old security forces offensive to halt the Islamic uprising in northeast Nigeria.
Olukolade said "hot pursuit" operations by land and air are in progress. He said the insurgents were trying "to boost their depleted stock of fighters" following aerial bombardments and ground assaults on hideouts.
Panicked residents fled their homes as gunfire and explosions erupted in the city that is the birthplace of the Boko Haram terrorist network.