At least 34 people, including seven soldiers, were killed in an attack by a gang of armed men in Nigeria's northwest Zamfara state, the head of a vigilante group and residents said.
The attack in the remote Dan Gulbi district of the Maru local government area of the state occurred on Monday afternoon, Ismail Magaji, the head of the local vigilante group, told Reuters.
Lawali Zonai, a resident, said, "27 villagers were killed in the attack while seven military personnel were ambushed on their way to aid the community from the gruesome attack."
A spokesperson for the Zamfara state police did not immediately respond to calls seeking to confirm the incident.
Gangs of heavily armed men, locally referred to as bandits, have wreaked havoc across Nigeria's northwest in the past three years, kidnapping thousands, killing hundreds and making it unsafe to travel by road or farm in some areas.
The attacks have confounded Nigeria's security forces that are overstretched combating a 14-year Islamist insurgency in the northeast, violent farmer-herder and sectarian clashes in the central region and rising attacks by a separatist group in the southeast.
By Ahmed Kingimi, Reuters