Police in northwestern Nigeria have launched a manhunt for gunmen who killed six people, including four police officers, at a market near the border with Niger.
A spokesman for the Sokoto state police command, Sanusi Abubakar, said armed men on motorcycles opened fire Tuesday on a police patrol team outside a market in Yar Bulutu village.
The attack killed four police officers and two traders.
Abubakar told VOA Wednesday that police were headed to the scene to investigate.
"As I speak to you now, we're in transit, we're going for on-the-spot assessment regarding the incident," he said.
Abubakar told AFP the attack could be in reprisal for the killing last week of bandits by police forces in a nearby district as the bandits tried to attack residents.
Nigeria has witnessed a string of shootings perpetrated by ransom-seeking gangs whom authorities have been struggling to contain in the country’s northwest.
Medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) recently warned that escalating violence in the region was disrupting access to farming and worsening a malnutrition crisis there.