Islamist group Boko Haram launched an assault from three fronts on Maiduguri, a city of 2 million people in Nigeria's northeast, early Sunday morning, the Associated Press reports. This latest attack was repelled, and at least 200 combatants were killed.

"Certainly this is the most serious attack yet," Kashim Shettima, the governor of the state of Borno, told the New York Times. "We faced a really existential threat." Maiduguri—which the AP describes as the "birthplace" of Boko Haram—is the capital of Borno.

"In the early hours of the day the Boko Haram wanted to come into town," an anonymous federal police official told the Times. "But by the grace of God, we have repelled them."

Even as bombs dropped on insurgent positions around Maiduguri, however, Boko Haram fighters reportedly overran a major military installation in the smaller city of Monguno to the north. The BBC reported that Nigerian soldiers who had fled Monguno were arriving in Maiduguri. Sahara Reporters, however, reported that that attack was also repelled.

On Saturday, Boko Haram released 190 captives in the state of Yobe, Reuters reported. On Friday, at least 14 people were killed when suspected Boko Haram fighters torched the village of Kambari, three miles from Maiduguri.

[Photo credit: AP Images]