Kano: Gunmen killed 10 people and abducted two women in northern Nigeria's Katsina state, police and residents said Tuesday, the latest violence involving armed criminal gangs.

They drove motorcycles into the village of Yar Santa Sherere on Sunday evening, shooting and torching vehicles and businesses.

"The bodies of nine people were evacuated by a police team and residents after the attack," said Katsina state police spokesman Gambo Isa.

He called the gunmen "criminals" and said police tried to pursue them.

Local resident Sada Iro said another body was found shortly after, taking the death toll to 10.

"The bandits also kidnapped two women during the attack, and burnt many shops and vehicles before leaving," Iro said.

Katsina state, 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Nigeria's capital Abujua, has seen a string of violent attacks in recent months.

The gangs, who appear to want cash and have no known ideological agenda, carry out regular raids of villages, stealing cattle and food, burning homes and kidnapping for ransom.

Rural communities have formed self-defence militia forces for protection, given the lack of security personnel in hard-to-reach areas.

But vigilante forces have exacerbated the violence and been accused of extra-judicial killings of suspects.

Nigeria struggles to put down multiple security challenges, including attacks from Islamic State-backed Boko Haram and clashes between herders and farmers over land.

On April 8, some 14 bandits and militia gunmen died in clashes in Tsamryar Jino village, police said, although residents put the death toll at 36.

April 2, 50 people were reported to have been killed in Sakajiki, Zamfara state, when vigilantes stormed a bandit hideout.