No other details of Monday’s attack on the city, which has been the epicentre of Boko Haram attacks, were given but the Nigerian authorities confirmed that they were on full alert for possible attacks by the jihadists during the Christmas period and Muslim holidays.
Following the eruption of heavy gunfire residents were forced to flee the outskirts of the city in the Molai.
No immediate reports of casualties, nor any claim of responsibility for the attack, were available at time of going to press.
However, Boko Haram has in the past targeted places of worship during religious celebrations, including attacking churches at Christmas or mosques during Muslim festivals or prayer times.
President Muhammadu Buhari previously claimed that Boko Haram had been defeated but continued attacks have prompted a renewed government push against the militants which has included the release of $1 billion last week from a state oil fund to help the fight.