About two thousand people have reportedly been displaced in Geidam, Yobe state, after Boko Haram insurgents took hold of the town.

According to Daily Trust, the insurgents who belong to the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a faction of Boko Haram, have occupied the town since Friday.

Upon entry into the town on Friday, the insurgents asked residents to join the sect. They shared pamphlets containing their rules and ideology.

The development caused residents to flee to Yunusari LGA and Damaturu, Yobe capital, for safety.

The insurgents who engaged the military in a gun duel for more than 24 hours were said to have invaded Geidam with more than 20 gun trucks.

The newspaper said the insurgents retreated after initial airstrikes by the air force but have returned to destroy and occupy the town.

Apart from looting shops, the insurgents cut off communication network in the town. An unspecified number of people have been reportedly killed.

Ali Kolo Geidam, chairman of the LGA, was quoted as saying he has not been able to gain entry into the town in the past two days.

According to him, two people including a teacher were killed on Sunday morning.

“I don’t know who is presently in control because I couldn’t access the town for the past two days, but based on the information I received, the insurgents overran the military,” the chairman said.

“I visited some of the injured victims here in Damaturu Specialist Hospital and I sympathised with their condition.”

Rawana Usman, a witness, said the insurgents were targeting Christians and killing anyone who is educated.

“They were going round houses targeting Christians, NGO workers and those that are educated in the western schools,” Usman was quoted as saying.

“When I heard of the selective killings, I couldn’t resist, I left abruptly.

“I can say that there were soldiers engaging them. They have been doing their best to push out the terrorists, but I can tell you that these boys were moving normal in the town up to the time I left.”