Police find 66 bodies in Nigeria’s northwest ahead of polls

 Authorities in northwest Nigeria on Friday said police had discovered the bodies of 66 people, including women and children, in an area known for ethnic and religious clashes.

Security forces have made arrests, state governor Nasir El-Rufai said.

“Security agencies today reported the recovery of 66 bodies that were killed in attacks by criminal elements,” he said in a statement.

“Among the victims were 22 children and 12 women. Four wounded persons rescued by the security agencies are now receiving medical attention.

“(The) government condemns the attacks and commiserates with the families of the victims.”

There was no immediate comment from the police but El-Rufai, a close ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, said officers had been sent and arrests made.

He urged community, traditional and religious leaders to warn local people not to launch reprisal attacks. 

“The killings are being investigated and residents are assured that indicted persons will be prosecuted,” he said.

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