" --IANS"
Abuja, July 12 - At least 26 bodies have been recovered following a two-day attack by suspected cattle raiders in Sokoto in Nigeria, officials said on Wednesday.

The death toll of the attack on Monday and Tuesday in Rabah may rise as rescue officials continue to comb the area for more bodies, Xinhua quoted Suleiman Kadir, spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency in Nigeria's northwest region, as saying.

Another emergency response official said the recovered bodies were being prepared for mass burial.

Local residents said many cattle were stolen and houses razed when the attackers stormed villages around Gandi in Rabah area late Monday.

Police have cordoned off the affected areas, saying the state's police chief had directed prompt investigation into the incident.

Sokoto State Police spokeswoman Cordelia Nwewe said two of the affected villages were completely burned by the attackers.

Cattle raiding has recently become a major crime in Nigeria, with the northern part of the most populous African country being the hardest hit.

--IANS

qd


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