Lagos - An ethnic militia killed at least 20 police officers who launched a raid to try and arrest them in Nasarawa state, a police commissioner said on Wednesday.
The attack in Alakio saw the officers ambushed on Tuesday when they tried to stop the gang that was forcing locals to take a blood oath, police commissioner Abayomi Akermale said.
Akermale said the death toll in the attack could be higher, as emergency officials and police officers only reached the area on Wednesday. The commissioner declined to offer any other specific details about the attack, other than to say those responsible were not Islamic extremists.
The violence comes amid growing insecurity in the oil-rich nation. Islamic extremists, including those belonging to Boko Haram, have been launching increasingly bloody guerrilla attacks throughout the country's predominantly Muslim north.
Ethnic militias, as well as criminal gangs, kill at will and kidnap others for ransom. Some gangs use traditional beliefs to instill loyalty from their followers, as well as strike fear into the local population. Such gangs also are known for using extreme violence and conducting rituals involving local witchcraft.