Gunmen Kill 34 In Nigerian Cattle Market Raid

on May 03 2012 1:57 PM

At least 34 people have been killed after a group of gunmen armed with explosives and assault rifles opened fire on a cattle market in northeastern Nigeria Wednesday night.

A group of gunmen armed with around 20 explosives and assault rifles attacked the Potiskum cattle market, Nigerian police spokesman Toyin Gbadegesin told the Telegraph. They threw explosives and shot indiscriminately, setting fire to the market, killing lots of livestock and wounding many people, mostly cattle dealers.

Thirty-four bodies were deposited at the hospital, said a hospital official under the condition of anonymity, Agence-France Presse reported.

The official added that the actual death toll was likely to exceed 50 because families were burying the dead without bringing them to the hospital first.

At least 29 other people were injured in the attack, according to Nigerian military spokesman Col. Dahiru Abdussalam, BBC News reported.

The attack took place in Potiskum, Yobe state. Nigerian police said that the attack might have been in retaliation for a man who was killed earlier by traders for trying to steal cattle, BBC News reported.

A gang had attempted to rob the market earlier Wednesday, but was fought off by traders. One of the men was captured, doused in gasoline and burnt to death, according to local police and residents, the Telegraph reported.

There's also suspicion that the attackers may have been affiliated with the radical Islamic group Boko Haram due to the use of explosives, but it isn't uncommon for criminals to try to pass themselves off as members of the militant sect.

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