Boko haram baga
The army is trying to drive insurgents away from the town due its proximity to Borno State's capital Maiduguri YouTube screenshot

The Nigerian military is trying to retake the town of Monguno, in Borno State, one day after terror group Boko Haram captured it.

A source at the Nigerian defence headquarters told news agency Sapa-DPA that the troops are trying everything they can to drive the insurgents away from the town because of its proximity to the state capital, Maiduguri.

Who are Boko Haram militants?

Boko Haram, which fights against Western influence in Nigeria and aims to impose its version of sharia law in the country, declared an Islamic caliphate in Gwoza, along the Cameroon border, in August 2014.

The group has been raiding several cities in the north of the country in a bid to take control of more land.

Three states, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, have been under a state of emergency since May 2013, due to Boko Haram's deadly attacks.

Maiduguri has been attacked by the terrorists in the past. In its latest raid in January, Boko Haram killed more than 100 people.

"We'll take it back. We have no choice but to do that because it will be dangerous to leave them in that town. They can try again to disturb the peace in Maiduguri from there. That is all I can say for now, just be on the lookout," the source said.

However, a journalist who asked not to be named said that the insurgents are still in firm control of the town.

"Many of them are right here in Maiduguri and the picture they are painting is not cheering at all. They said it would take a well-coordinated plan and superior military firepower to upstage those guys from Monguno," he stated.

Last year some reports emerged that Nigerian troops are refusing to fight Boko Haram and refuse to be deployed in areas controlled by Boko Haram, claiming they are not adequately equipped to fight the insurgents.

Last October, local media reported that some soldiers allegedly injured themselves to avoid deployment in areas controlled by the insurgents after clashes had caused the deaths of hundreds of troops.

Boko Haram fighters have stepped up their attacks in recent months while current Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, often accused of failing to halt the terrorists, is getting ready to re-run in the upcoming presidential election.

At the beginning of January, Boko Haram slaughtered at least 2,000 people, including women and children, in Borno state.

The mass-killing, described as "possibly the deadliest" the terrorists have committed, was carried out as the group raided 16 towns in Borno.