Gunmen attacked a village in Nigeria's northwestern state of Kaduna, killing 34 people and injuring seven others, local authorities said Monday.
Criminal gangs known locally as bandits have terrorised northwest and central Nigeria for years, but they have become more brazen in recent months and the military has renewed operations in the region.
"Unidentified gunmen attacked Madamai village in Kaura ... 34 residents have been confirmed dead following the attack. Seven others sustained injuries," state security commissioner Samuel Aruwan said in a communique, later adding that the attack took place late Sunday.
Troops came under fire before forcing the assailants to withdraw after an intense exchange, he added.
Aruwan said two suspects were being questioned in connection with the attack.
Gunmen also attacked a church on Sunday in Kachia's district of Kaduna state.
"A life was lost and some worshippers were seriously injured," Aruwan said in a separate statement.
Army base attacked
A member of the Sokoto State assembly told Reuters on Monday that bandits killed 22 Nigerian security personnel in an attack on a remote army base in that northwestern state.
Aminu Gobir said 17 bodies were recovered on Sunday and an additional five were found on Monday. He said the dead were 14 soldiers, five police officers and three members of a civil defence force.
Bandits who raid villages, steal cattle, kidnap for ransom and burn homes, have no known ideology.
The military began a campaign against bandits earlier this month and northern states have imposed restrictions on movement and trade as well as a telecoms blackout to try to curb them.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)