Armed cattle thieves on Sunday killed 38 people in three separate attacks in northern Nigeria's Kaduna state, a local official said, the latest bloodshed to roil the region.

Iran PressAfrica: The assailants, who usually ride on motorcycles, stormed the villages of Kauran Fawa, Marke and Riheya in the Giwa district, Samuel Aruwan, the internal affairs commissioner for Kaduna state said in a statement.

"Security agencies have confirmed.. that 38 people were killed across the locations attacked," Aruwan said. "Houses, trucks, and cars were also burned, along with agricultural produce at various farms," he said.

The attacks occurred in the early hours of Sunday across several villages in Idasu, in the Giwa local government area of the state.

Aruwan said the attacks had been carried out by "bandits" - well-known armed groups that have been behind a number of killings and mass abductions in the most populous country in Africa.

The criminal groups are becoming increasingly better armed with the proceeds from their robberies and ransoms.

The Nigerian military, which has been deployed to contain their activities, has met with little success. 219