Gunmen killed at least seven people Thursday at a farm in Nigeria’s Rivers State, police said, the latest violence to hit the oil-rich southern region.
The attack, believed to have been carried out by criminal gangs, came three days after gunmen described as “bandits” and “cult” members, killed 16 churchgoers as they were returning from a midnight New Year church service on Monday.
Zaki Ahmed, police commissioner for the Rivers state, confirmed Thursday’s attack on a farm in Emohua without giving a death toll.
“The attackers arrived on a motorcycle and shot at people, before fleeing as quickly as they arrived,” he told reporters.
A source at the Elele Police station told AFP: “Information from our men on site has it that seven have been confirmed dead.”
Rivers State, a region blighted by poverty despite a wealth of oil, is home to several powerful gangs that often engage in violent turf wars.
Such gangs, known as “cults” in Nigeria, began as university confraternities decades ago before evolving into powerful armed groups that now rule the streets of the destitute region.
Emohua is some 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Omuku, where the New Year attack took place.
Police commissioner Ahmed said “more anti-cultism, anti-kidnapping and anti-terror police personnel” had since been sent to the town.