Suspected members of the Boko Haram attacked the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) base in Baga, Borno State on Saturday morning.
A senior security official confirmed the incident to journalists in Maiduguri, the state capital.
He refereed to the attack as one of the fiercest in recent times as soldiers battled to repel the insurgents.
Eyewitnesses said that the attack started around 5am when residents started hearing gunshots as the insurgents tried to gain entrance into the MNJTF premises.
Many civilians living in the barracks were said to have been killed during the attack.
Defense and military chiefs from the six countries that make up the Lake Chad Basin Commission created the MNJTF in 1998 to combat terrorism, arms trafficking and related cross-border crimes that have continued to rise in the region.
The MNJTF, since its establishment, has been a major threat to the operations of the Boko Haram, hence the continued attack on the base and the town with a view to having full control of the area.
The force is made up of troops from Nigeria as well as Niger and Chad.