Seven people were killed in a shootout between Nigerian soldiers and Islamic extremists in the country’s northeast, according to the military.

The attack happened on Wednesday night in the fishing village of Gashua in Yobe State. Teacher Fati Umar, who witnessed the violence, said the Islamic extremists attacked a police station in the village and later a prison.

Lt. Eli Lazarus, a military spokesman, said the shootout killed two police officers and five civilians.

However, Nigeria’s military often downplays casualty figures to avoid the appearance that it is losing control of the region to extremists.

Islamic extremists have launched guerrilla attacks across Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north since 2010. A recent shootout between the military and extremists in Baga killed at least 187 people, with soldiers accused of killing civilians.

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