Gunmen attacked a village in northwestern Nigeria’s Kaduna state, killing 34 people and wounding seven others, local authorities said Monday.
Criminal gangs known locally as bandits have terrorized northwestern and central Nigeria for years, but have grown more brazen in recent months and the army has renewed its operations in the region.
“Unidentified gunmen attacked the village of Madamai in Kaura … 34 residents were confirmed dead after the attack. Another seven were injured,” State Security Commissioner Samuel Aruwan said in a statement, later adding that the attack took place on Sunday night.
The troops were attacked before forcing the assailants to retreat after an intense exchange, he added.
Aruwan said two suspects were being questioned in connection with the attack.
Also on Sunday, gunmen attacked a church in the Kachia district of Kaduna state.
“A life was lost and some worshipers were seriously injured,” Aruwan said in a separate statement.
The bandits who raid villages, steal livestock, kidnap for ransom and burn houses have no known ideology.
The military began a campaign against the bandits earlier this month and northern states have imposed restrictions on movement and trade, as well as a telecommunications blackout to try to stop them.