Gunmen kill five in central Nigeria - police

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File image. (Photo by Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
File image. (Photo by Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
  • Gunmen killed 5 people in Nigeria's Kogi state.
  • According to police attackers opened fire on a bus.
  • The gunmen fled the scene before police reinforcements arrived.

Gunmen have killed five people, including one Indian, in Nigeria's Kogi state, police said Saturday, with the region wracked by jihadist and gang violence.

The attackers opened fire on a bus in the industrial town of Ajaokuta late Friday, killing one Indian, two drivers and two police escorts, state police spokesman William Ovye Aya said in a statement.

"One expatriate, two company drivers and two police inspectors died in the exchange of fire," Aya said, adding that the foreigner was an Indian employee of a ceramics company in the town.

Aya had earlier said six people, including two Indians were killed in the incident.

He described the gunmen as "hoodlums", a term used by the police for criminals and jihadists.

They fled before police reinforcements arrived on the scene, but police were on their trail, he said.

Security had been stepped up to "restore normalcy in the area".

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Kogi has seen an uptick in violence in recent months.

READ | Nine killed in Somalia suicide bombing - police

Last month, gunmen killed three policemen and five vigilantes in an ambush in the central state's Ajaokuta area, prompting the state governor to suspend a local chief and question the district's political administrator.

In June, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) jihadists, operating outside their usual base in the northeast, bombed a police station in Kogi's Okehi district, killing a policeman and razing the facility.

In April, they also attacked a police station in the town of Adavi, killing three policemen.

ISWAP, which split from Boko Haram in 2016 to become a dominant jihadist group in the region, claimed both those attacks.

ISWAP was also responsible for a jailbreak last month outside the Nigerian capital Abuja that freed hundreds of inmates, including 64 jihadist commanders.

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