According to a state official and a local member of parliament in Nigeria's Sokoto state, at least 20 people were killed when gunmen attacked a market and set fire to cars.
Armed gangs continue to wreak havoc in Nigeria's northwest, as evidenced by the killings in Sokoto state on Saturday.
Since December, bandits in the region have increased kidnappings of schoolchildren and villagers for ransom, disrupting the lives of millions of people.
The armed bandits rode on motorcycles and shot sporadically, killing several people, according to Idriss Gobir, special advisor to the Sokoto police affairs minister.
"We have seen and counted at least 20 people killed by bandits, and nine vehicles have been set on fire," he told the Reuters news agency by phone.
According to Hussain Boza, the attack was blamed on a lack of adequate security in the state, a local member of parliament in Sokoto.
The attack was confirmed by a Sokoto police spokeswoman, although he could not specify how many people were murdered right away.
As part of a security effort to disrupt the operations of armed gangs, parts of Sokoto and other neighboring states in the northwestern region of the country are under a telecommunications embargo.
Security agents in Zamfara state recovered 187 persons who armed gangs on Thursday had kidnaped.