DHAKA: A gang of armed robbers has killed 27 people in remote villages in northern Nigeria, witnesses and police say.
An eyewitness told the BBC that about 80 people on motorbikes had attacked the villages of Dan-Gulbi and Guru in Zamfara state.
Some victims had their throat cut, according to reports.
The attack is believed to be in revenge for the killing of a suspected group of armed robbers by villagers and vigilante groups last year.
A policeman was said to be among the dead, who were primarily from the village of Dan-Gulbi.
Villagers had been preparing for a local market day when the killers struck, the Associated Press news agency reports.
According to a police officer who spoke to the BBC on condition of anonymity, at least 19 people died in Dan-Gulbi and four were killed in Guru.
Attacks were also reported in the villages of Diya and Sabo Kasuwa.
"They went door to door shooting villagers and in some cases slitting their throats with knives," a police source told AFP news agency.
Talatu Mai Tasshi, a woman who escaped the violence, was quoted by AP as saying she had hidden in empty sacks as the gunmen stalked other people preparing to sell their goods.
Islamist group Boko Haram has previously been responsible for a number of attacks in northern Nigeria, but there has been no suggestion that that it was connected to these murders.
Nigeria has one of the highest crime rates in Africa and is notorious for gun-related violence, including kidnapping and robbery.
BDST: 1042 HRS, June 12, 2012
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