At least nine worshippers have been reported killed in an attack by suspected armed bandits in Ba’are in Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State.

The police commissioner in the state, Bala Kuryas, told reporters on Thursday that nine people were killed in the attack which occurred on Wednesday.

Mr Kuryas said security have been beefed up in the affected community.

But residents of the area said 16 people were killed and 12 others injured in the attack.

The attackers invaded the mosque in the early hours of Wednesday when residents were performing the dawn congregational prayers, a resident said, asking not to be named for security reasons.

The source said the injured were taken to the Kontagora General Hospital for treatment.

The latest mosque attack followed an earlier one in October in Maza-Kula in the same council area where 17 worshippers were reportedly killed.

In that previous attack, many people were also abducted and many others injured.

In Niger State, armed bandits have in the last few years killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands of others.

The state government says at least over 151, 380 people, mostly peasant farmers, were displaced in the last two years in the state.

In Mashegu Local Government Area where the latest attack took place, over 2,010 residents have been displaced in the last two years.