Gunmen shot dead five worshippers in a mosque and abducted many others in a Friday attack at Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, police said on Sunday.
According to residents, the incident happened at Dutsen Gari community of Kanoma District of Maru. They said dozens of militants wielding sophisticated weapons arrived the community on motorbikes, shooting to scare and kill.
It was gathered that the imam was among those abducted.
Police said the gunmen earlier disguised as congregants in the mosque and later dispersed residents with gunshots killing five of them.
Eighteen persons were abducted, police said.
Zamfara police spokesperson Muhammad Shehu told reporters that two persons died instantly following the gunshots while three others died while receiving treatment in the hospital.
Mr Shehu said policemen have been drafted to the area to trail the gunmen.
The attack occurred a few days after Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle welcomed the deployment of over 2000 special police constabulary drafted to the state to reinforce security in vulnerable communities.