Security officials and a witness say fighters from Nigeria's Boko Haram militant have seized Gwoza town, overwhelming soldiers based in the northeast area before attacking civilians.

They said Thursday that the new Emir of Gwoza, Muhammed Idrissa Timta, has also gone missing after attackers were seen approaching his residence during the attack Wednesday. Timta succeeded his father who was killed by Boko Haram in May.

Residents have fled to mountainous areas near the town. A resident said gunmen who attacked Gwoza were dressed in military fatigues and rode vehicles painted in the same colors. The resident spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear for his safety.

Two security officials confirmed the attack, but could not be named because they weren't authorized to speak to media.