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Gunmen killed at least 20 people in attacks in the northwestern Nigerian state of Katsina, police and residents said on Wednesday.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the last year by criminal gangs carrying out robberies and kidnappings in northwest Nigeria. In May, the United Nations said the violence had forced about 23,000 refugees to across the border to the north into Niger.

Around 200 attackers travelled on motorcycles to the village of Kadisau, in Katsina, on Tuesday, a police spokesman said, adding that 20 people were killed after the attackers opened fire on locals who tried to resist their attempts to loot the village.

Three locals told Reuters 30 people were buried following the attack.

SEE ALSO: Islamist militants in northeast Nigeria execute four aid workers

Such attacks have added to security challenges in Africa’s most populous country, which is already struggling to contain Islamist insurgencies in the northeast and communal violence over grazing rights in central states.

In a separate flashpoint on Tuesday, suspected Islamist gunmen killed at least 69 people and razed a village to the ground in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno.

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