MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Hundreds of Islamic militants in trucks and a stolen armored personnel carrier attacked an air force base and international airport on the outskirts of a Nigerian city before dawn Monday, officials and witnesses said, possibly leaving scores of people dead in one of the insurgent group's most daring attacks.
Two helicopters and three decommissioned military aircraft were "incapacitated" in the attack, said a statement from Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, the Ministry of Defense spokesman. He said some army bases also were hit.
Twenty-four insurgents were killed and many were wounded along with two air force personnel, he said in a statement.
The state government ordered everyone to stay home and extended a nighttime curfew to 24 hours in Maiduguri, the city near the air base which is also the birthplace of the extremist Boko Haram movement.
The militants also attacked Maiduguri International Airport, an official said. Olukolade said flight operations were temporarily disrupted but had resumed.
Government officials said scores of people may be dead. Reporters saw ambulances ferrying bodies to the hospital morgue.
The uprising by Boko Haram began in 2009 and has killed thousands.