Gunmen have attacked several villages in the Nigerian state of Zamfara, killing at least 27 people. A local policeman said it was a suspected revenge mission for the killing of gang members by villagers last year.
Police spokesman Sanusi Amirul said on Monday that suspected armed robbers invaded the village of Dangulbi and several surrounding villages in the northern Nigerian state.
He said that the robbers had killed the 27 villagers in an apparent revenge attack. Police suspect that criminal gangs blamed villagers and local vigilante groups for the killings of gang members.
Amirul added that the gunmen were not believed to have been linked to the Islamist sect Boko Haram, which has infiltrated much of northern Nigeria. Boko Haram has been blamed for scores of bombings and shootings, mainly in the country's north.
Alongside frequent extremist violence, the north is also plagued by communal and ethnic conflicts. Last October armed bandits raided Lingyado village in Zamfara state. Some 19 people were killed in a reprisal for the killing of gang members by local vigilantes, aided by villagers.
Meanwhile in the northeast of the country, gunmen armed with explosives killed at least 34 people in May when they attacked a cattle market, before burning it to the ground.
ccp/mr (AFP, AP, Reuters)