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Gunmen kill 48 people in northwest Nigeria

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Gunmen in Nigeria killed at least 48 people in attacks on three villages in northwest Zamfara state.

The attacks took place last firday and were reported by a local official and residents on Sunday.

The village of Damri was the worst hit. The gunmen killed 32 people including two security personnel.

According to Aminu Suleiman, administrative head of Bakura district, the attacks were coordinated.

In early January, gunmen killed more than 200 people in Zamfara state.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the security forces to redouble their efforts to put an end to the killings.

The violence has forced thousands to flee to neighbouring Niger, with over 11,000 seeking refuge last November, according to the United Nations.

Northwest and central Nigeria have been terrorised for years by criminal gangs who raid and loot villages, steal cattle and carry out mass abductions of residents for ransom.