At least 60 people were killed in a string of attacks by armed gangs in the restive northwest region of Nigeria, AFP reports quoting medical and local sources.
The attacks were carried out by dozens of gunmen who stormed five villages in Sabon Birni district in Sokoto state late Wednesday.
“We received a total of 60 dead bodies and several people with gunshot injuries from the villages attacked by the bandits last night,” AFP quotes a nurse at the general hospital in Sabon Birni.
A local resident corroborated the reports, noting that the gunmen opened fire on homes as residents were gathered around.
“We lost 60 people in the attacks. The bandits killed 16 in Garki, 13 in Dan Aduwa, 22 in Kuzari, seven in Katuma and two in Masawa,” AFP quotes the local resident.
There was no official comment on the attacks by security authorities at the time of publishing, but the police are expected to hold a press conference later.
Sabon Birni district, 175 kilometres (110 miles) from the state capital Sokoto, has in recent times been repeatedly attacked by armed gangs.
On Monday 18 people were killed when gunmen raided five other villages in Sabon Birni district, local officials said.
Authorities have previously launched repeated military operations and local peace talks to try to end the violence.