Gunmen have killed dozens of people and wounded many others in a series of attacks on several villages in Nigeria’s north-western state of Sokoto, according to police and residents.
The authorities say, so far, 59 bodies have been recovered while a search operation for more victims is underway.
This is one of the most deadly attacks in several years in Sokoto – one of the states affected by gunmen who often target communities to kill or kidnap people for ransom.
The gunmen usually attack overnight, but residents say this time the attackers armed with guns and machetes arrived on motorbikes in broad daylight on Wednesday – shooting and hacking the villagers to death.
The attackers then fled.
At least five villages were targeted in the Sabon-Birni area.
Police spokesperson for Sokoto state Muhammad Abubakar Sadiq told the BBC that normalcy had returned and a search for more bodies was underway.
The attacks happened barely a week after the Nigerian military launched a renewed operation against armed bandits in neighbouring Katsina and Zamfara states.
In a recent report, the International Crisis Group said more than 8,000 people have been killed in the last nine years of violence involving farmers and herders as well as criminal gangs in north-western Nigeria.