17 persons have been killed and 3 others injured in an attack by gunmen at Maza-Kuka village in Mashegu local government area of Niger state.
Also, about 18 people were alleged to have been abducted during the attack.
They were killed Monday morning while observing the dawn prayer in a mosque.
The gunmen were said to have besieged the area in large numbers while shooting sporadically which led to the death of the 17.
Secretary to the Niger State Government, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane confirmed in a telephone interview with Radio Nigeria that a military team has been dispatched to the area.
Chairman of the council Alhaji Alhassan Isa Maza-Kuka said one of the injured is in critical condition and has been referred to Minna General Hospital.
Maza-Kuka and Kulhu villages in Niger state share a boundary with Kianji Lake forest where the bandits are believed to be residing.
Reporting by Aliu Lawal; editing by Daniel Adejo