Kidnappers have abducted about 80 people in separate attacks and killed at least 11 people, say residents.
A group of gunmen on motorcycles entered the villages of Damri, Sabon Garin and Kalahe in coordinated attacks on Friday afternoon, shooting people as they tried to flee.
Around 200 people have been killed in Nigeria’s troubled northern region, according to witnesses, as authorities continue to search for bodies and for suspects of the three-day violence.
Security forces have been conducting operations in the African country's northwest to crack down on gangs and cartels that target regional provinces for looting and mass abductions.
Motorcycle-riding gunmen launch coordinated attacks on five villages in northwest Zamfara state, shooting residents and burning homes, police and locals say.
A gang of motorcycle-riding cattle thieves attacked residents in multiple villages, killing at least 53 civilians in the Zurmi district of northwest Zamfara state, local authorities say.
Nigerian army rescued 180 people in the early hours of Friday, but around 30 male and female students remain unaccounted for after gunmen attacked a forestry college in northwestern Kaduna state overnight.
The pre-dawn attack on Tara village is the latest in a series of attacks by criminal gangs known locally as "bandits" who for years have terrorised communities. The attackers also stole 100 cows.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a "massive" deployment of military and intelligence assets to restore normalcy to Nigeria's northwest, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno said.
Authorities initially said hundreds of gunmen kidnapped 317 girls from Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe village on Friday. But according to the governor of Zamfara, a total of 279 female students were taken.
Gunmen from gangs known for kidnapping and cattle rustling kill at least 19 people in Birnin Gwari and Kajuru villages in Kaduna state, officials say.
The new initiative was announced as military operations have failed to end the killings and local officials have tried repeated negotiations to broker peace in the restive northwestern Nigeria.
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