Nine policemen and two members of a civilian-defense group were killed while repelling an attack by gunmen in Nigeria’s northwest state of Kebbi, said the police on Monday.

The incident occurred on Sunday after a group of unidentified gunmen attacked several villages of Sakaba area of the state, Nafi’u Abubakar, a police spokesperson in the state, told reporters in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.

Abubakar said the nine policemen and two vigilante members were killed in their gun duel with the gunmen after a team of security operatives responded to a distress call by local residents to repel the gunmen attack.

A series of gunmen attacks have hit the northern part of Nigeria in recent months.

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