GWOZA, Nigeria, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Boko Haram militants seized a police academy in Gwoza, Nigeria, storming the school in armored tanks taken from Nigerian soldiers.
A local police spokesman confirmed the attack on the Liman Kara police college, noting communication with the school has been unavailable since Wednesday. The school has five units in training, each unit with approximately 60 trainees.
Casualty figures were not available, but the New York-based news website Sahara Reporters said numerous trainees were killed or injured, and some escaped.
An armored tank, parked at the entrance to the academy, was blown up by Boko Haram members to gain entrance.
Several hundred militants stormed the school, which contains an assortment of weapons, after Boko Haram seized control of the town of Gwoza, population about 50,000, two weeks ago. The town's traditional ruler, and others, fled the Boko Haram advance. The school was one of the few government buildings not under their control before the attack.
Since Gwoza's takeover, Nigerian troops have attempted to recover the town, but have inadequate firepower compared to Boko Haram's arms.
"Some of the soldiers complain that their weapons do not march those of Boko Haram," one source said.
Boko Haram began a campaign of terrorism in Nigeria in 2009, attempting to create an Islamic state and to deny Western-style education. Thousands of people have been killed, mostly in northeastern Nigeria since the attacks began. The United States declared it a terrorist group in 2013.