Twin suicide bombs went off during a celebration for the end of Ramadan over the weekend and were reportedly followed by artillery strikes by the nation's military.
Local media outlets reported that the military air strikes may have hit as many or more people than the bombs.
One witness told Sahara Reporters that "many civilians were hit" when the military fired in retaliation.
John Campbell, a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, told ABC News that civilian casualties from army strikes was "definitely plausible."
"Nigerian security services have a history of overacting (rounding up all males after an attack and putting them in jail for example), and this abuse has been a driver in Boko Haram recruitment," he said. "The government constantly makes false claims that Boko Haram is being defeated, when clearly they are not."
At least 80 people were killed in another suicide bombing in May.
Borno state is one of the worst-affected areas in conflict-ridden Nigeria. The United Nations says Damboa alone currently hosts over 90,000 internally displaced people, many of whom live in refugee camps.
"The humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s northeast that has spilled over into the Lake Chad region is one of the most severe in the world today, with 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2018 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, and 6.1 million targeted for humanitarian assistance," the United Nations said in a statement to ABC News.
Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, has been a target of terror attacks for many years. Boko Haram is one of the largest Islamist militant groups in Africa, with links to several other Islamist groups, including ISIS.
In March 2015, ISIS accepted a pledge of allegiance by Boko Haram and in August 2016, the group split into two factions: The Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) and JASDJ or Boko Haram.
Following Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance to ISIS, the United States announced it would boost its military assistance to Nigeria.
“In addition to being the largest African oil producer, Nigeria's economy is very dependent on its oil revenue, its stability is vital to regional security and U.S. economic interests,” according to a publication from the Council on Foreign Relations.
Nigeria's president, Muhammadu Buhari, will likely face scrutiny in the February 2019 elections over his ability to address security threats in the country.
The United Nations condemned the attack in Damboa by “suspected Boko Haram insurgents targeting Eid al-Fitr celebrations,” and sent “condolences to the affected families, government and people of Nigeria.”