The police in Gusau on Monday confirmed the killing of 16 persons, including a policeman, by armed bandits in Maru local government area of Zamfara State.
The state police command's public relations officer, Lawal Abdullahi, said that about 150 armed hoodlums riding on motorcycles perpetrated the act.
He said the hoodlums had invaded the three villages of Tungar Rakumi, Mallamawa and Kangarawa on Saturday night.
The police spokesperson said 12 persons were killed in Tungar Rakumi alone, while the other four were killed in Mallamawa and Kangarawa.
"The bandits, who are suspected to have carried out the attack to retaliate the killing of three suspected cattle rustlers by the community in Birnin Magaji Local Government Area last week, were heavily armed with AK 47 rifles," Mr. Abdullahi said.
He explained that the police patrol team in the area fought back and over-powered the hoodlums who escaped with other members of the gang who were injured during the encounter.
The spokesperson complained that the police always faced difficulties in trailing hoodlums in the area due to inaccessible terrain and non-availability of telephone network signals.
He, however, assured that in spite of the shortcomings, the police would continue to make the state highly difficult for criminals to operate in.
Mr. Abdullahi urged the people of the state to always notify the nearest security outfit of any suspicious movement in their area.