Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday expressed shock over the killing of at least 18 farmers by unidentified gunmen in the northwestern state of Katsina and ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.
The farmers were on Tuesday morning killed in their farmlands in a village of Batsari area of the state.
In a statement by his office, Buhari described the carnage as "senseless" and directed the country's police and defense chiefs "to constitute an assessment team to intervene immediately in the state, and bring feedback".
The Nigerian leader specifically instructed the security chiefs to find out how the operation was carried out by the perpetrators and put in place structures to prevent future occurrences.
The statement confirmed that Buhari had been briefed "on the criminal and political intents of the attacks in Katsina and other parts of the north".
The northern part of Nigeria has witnessed a series of attacks by armed groups in recent months.
There have also been recurring incidents of livestock rustling and armed banditry in the region.