Islamist jihadists have killed six Nigerian soldiers in an attack on a military base in the north-east, the AFP news agency reports.

Army sources told the French news agency that they used trucks fitted with machine guns to attack the facility near Maiduguri on Saturday.

One source said the jihadists overwhelmed the troops forcing them to withdraw in disarray.

The insurgents – thought to be from a Boko Haram splinter group – the Islamic State West Africa Province – then looted weapons and burnt buildings before withdrawing when Nigerian troops attacked with aerial support.

The jihadists killed 30 civilians in the same area in February.