On Friday, January 15, militants from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked the town of Marte in the Lake Chad region of Borno State in northeastern Nigeria. The militants were able to overrun the Nigerian base on-site. The attack forced thousands of residents out of their homes and off their lands.

The town, 80 miles from the regional capital Maiduguri, was once considered the breadbasket of the Lake Chad region.

“The priority now is to reclaim the base from the terrorists and an operation is underway,” said a military official who spoke with AFP news on Saturday.

The Nigerian army released a statement saying that troops “tactically withdrew” to defend against an attack outside Marte. It added that troops “effectively destroyed” seven gun trucks and “decimated” an unconfirmed number of attackers.