KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) - Gunmen shot and hacked to death 18 people in a village in northwest Nigeria on Sunday, police said.
The attack took place in Lingyado, a village in the state of Zamfara which sits at the base of the Sahel where Africa's most populous nation borders Niger.
"18 persons were killed and 6 injured, the injured are receiving medical attention," said Sunusi Amiru, a spokesman for Zamfara state police.
"We are on top of the situation, we are on the trail of the suspects, we have deployed more men to the trouble spots."
The police did not say who the attackers were or what they wanted, although several houses were robbed during the assault.
Sectarian clashes are not uncommon in northern Nigeria, often ignited by local rivalries over religion, ethnicity and fertile farmland.
There was no evidence yet to suggest the attack was related to a radical Islamist sect based in the remote northeast which local officials have blamed for almost daily killings in its home base and deadly bomb attacks across the north.
Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is forbidden," bombed police headquarters in Abuja in June in an attack which the chief of police narrowly escaped.
The sect then took responsibility for Nigeria's first known suicide attack, ramming a car full of explosives into the U.N. building in the capital and killing 23 people.
(Reporting by Mike Oboh; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)