19 killed in Nigeria gunmen attack

Abuja: At least 19 people were killed in a gunmen attack in Nigeria's northeastern state of Yobe, one of the three states under a subsisting state of emergency, police said here on Tuesday.

Sanusi Rufai, Yobe commissioner of police, confirmed the casualties figure in Damaturu, capital of the state, saying 18 among the victims killed in the attack were traders, Xinhua reported.

According to the police officer, the victims were returning from Ngalda market in Gulani local government area of the state when the bandits ambushed them, and dispossessed some of the passersby of their wares.

"The attackers were masked and dressed in military uniform," said Rufai, who said police have launched a manhunt for the attackers.

As the gunmen tried to escape, they ran into a quarry plant in the area and attacked policemen deployed to the place, killing one of the security agents in the attack, he added.

It is still unclear whether the attacks were perpetrated by Boko Haram, a sect which has proved to be a hard nut to crack, especially in the northern region of Nigeria.

Adamawa, Borno and Yobe have been under a state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan eight months ago, due to Boko Harams's insurgency.

Last month, Nigeria's newly-appointed defence chief Alex Badeh vowed to end the insurgency of Boko Haram by April.

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