Two eyewitnesses told the agency that aid as many as 500 men riding motorcycles, some brandishing assault rifles, stormed into the Faskari local government area on Sunday afternoon.
“At least 18 person were confirmed killed by now and many others were suspected to be killed,” local resident Isma’ila Ya’u told Reuters by telephone.
Sadiq Hasaan, another witness, said the men were headed with the stolen livestock towards other villages in the Batsari local government area, and thousands of residents had fled their homes.
Police spokesman Gombo Isa confirmed the attack, adding the assailants carried “sophisticated weapons”. He said security forces were “combing the forest with a view to arresting the hoodlums.”