Explosions and gunfire have rocked an area of northeastern Nigeria plagued by repeated attacks from Boko Haram fighters, police said.

"There have been huge explosions and sporadic gunfire around [the] Shagari Low Cost area of the city," said Gbadegesin Toyin, police spokesman, said on Friday."In fact the explosions and the shootings are still ongoing."

The attacks happened in the city of Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state.

Though Boko Haram has launched waves of attacks in the city, typically targeting the security services, some of the violence has been intiated by a specialised army unit, who often raid suspected hideouts of the group.

"We still don't have details of what is going on but we have alerted our men to confront any eventuality," the police spokesman said.

Damaturu, which is near Boko Haram's base of Maiduguri, is also under curfew, with residents forced to be in their homes from dusk to dawn following running clashes between troops and fighters last month.

"For more than an hour now we have been besieged by loud explosions and shootings in this neighbourhood and we still can't figure out what is going on because of the curfew," said Babagana Abdullahi, a resident of the affected neighbourhood.

Source: Agencies