Witnesses say at least six people were killed in a fierce gunbattle between suspected Islamic extremists and security forces in Nigeria's northeast.

John Samuel said Friday a large group of suspected Boko Haram gunmen using sophisticated weapons came on motorcycles and in vans Wednesday and threw a bomb that destroyed the police station in Banki village, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) southwest of Borno state capital, Maiduguri.

Witnesses said at least two soldiers and several civilians died in the fighting that followed. A security official said four policemen were killed. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't permitted to speak to the media.

Borno state police commissioner Lawan Tanko said only one policeman was killed.

The Islamic extremist uprising threatens the security of Africa's most populous nation.