Armed gunmen suspected to be cattle rustlers killed 10 members of one family before six of the gunmen were shot dead by security forces in Nigeria?s central Plateau state, the police said.

?Cattle rustlers believed to be (ethnic) Fulani attacked Kukek village in the state. They murdered about 10 members of a family. Six of the attackers were mowed down in an exchange of fire with security forces,? the police chief in the state, Chris Olakpe, told AFP.

Several other people in the village were wounded in the attack, said Olakpe, who added he went to the inspect the area after the attack. Some local media put the death toll in the unrest at 21.

In the early morning the gunmen attacked the home of a man, identified by local media as Tsok Gwom, who owned about 50 cattle. They killed 10 members of his family, including five children, Olakpe said.

Security agents have been deployed to the affected community to restore peace, the police chief said.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the past few years following communal or ethnic-religious violence in the state which lies between the Christian-dominated south and mainly-Muslim north of the country.

Fulani nomads are mainly Muslims. (AFP)

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