By Rafiu Ajakaye
LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) - The bodies of at least 18 victims of an attack by armed bandits in northwestern Zamfara state have been recovered and buried while a search continues around the bushes, police said Friday.
Mohamed Shehu, Zamfara police spokesman, told Anadolu Agency that 18 bodies had been recovered from the attack in Birane village by Thursday evening.
"However we understand the bandits may have taken away some bodies as hunters warded off the attack," he said.
He added that the search for the attackers is ongoing.
No arrests have been made so far in the incident locals blame on cattle rustlers or herdsmen engaged in mass stealing of cows.
Nigeria's official news NAN reported 36 people had been killed in the attack.
Nigeria has in the recent months seen a spike in clashes between herdsmen and farmers or vigilante, resulting in hundreds of deaths and mass displacements of people fearing such attacks.
The violence has led to rise in calls for urgent reform of the country's security architecture which is currently centralized and controlled by the federal government. Last week, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said empowering state governments to own separate police units may be a way out of the crisis.