Gunmen kill 19 in central Nigeria attack

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Up to 19 local residents were killed following an overnight attack by unidentified gunmen on a community in central Nigeria, the police confirmed on Friday.

Many houses were burned by the attackers late Thursday, including some places of worship and the palace of the king of the local Tawari community in Kogi, a state in Nigeria's central region, the police said.

Kogi police spokesman Williams Anya told Xinhua that the attackers rode into the community on motorcycles. The Tawari community is located a few kilometers off Gegu town, along the Lokoja-Abuja highway leading to the Nigerian capital.

Anya said the state police has deployed more police personnel to the area to forestall further attacks.

A local resident surnamed Ikeleji said more than 100 gunmen invaded the community. The attack continued until early Friday as the gunmen entered selected houses and packed foodstuff, while further destroying property, he said.

It was the first time the community came under attack, Anya noted.

In his reaction to the incident, state governor Yahaya Bello condemned in a statement the dastardly act and directed security agencies to fish out perpetrators of the attack. 

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