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Islamist militant attacks have left around 100 soldiers dead in northeast Nigeria in recent days, said five security sources on Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Earlier on Thursday, the Nigerian senate suspended its session in honour of what it said were 44 dead soldiers after an attack in Metele in the northeastern state of Borno on Sunday.

Four of the security sources said around 100 had died in that attack alone, though the death toll was not final. The fifth said 96 had died in the northeast in recent days, mostly in the Metele attack, but also others.

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