Police in the north-western Nigerian state of Zamfara say gunmen have killed at least 35 and injured a number of others in a series of raids on several villages in Maradun area of the state.
A police spokesperson told the BBC the attacks happened on Thursday evening as the region continues to grapple with activities of armed criminal gangs who carry out killings and kidnappings for ransom.
Residents however, say the death toll was higher than that given by the authorities.
One witness told the BBC as many as 44 people were killed by the gunmen riding motorbikes. The attack happened just two days after at least 18 civilians were shot dead by armed men in neighbouring Katsina state.
The attacks come as security forces continue a search-and-rescue operation for more than 100 students abducted on Monday from a boarding school in Kaduna state – the latest of such mass kidnappings targeting schools in Nigeria.