Lagos, Nigeria CNN  — 

At least 45 people were killed in retaliatory attacks by armed bandits in a remote village in northwest Nigeria, police said.

The attack occurred on Saturday at Gwaska village in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, Kaduna State Commissioner of Police Austin Iwar told CNN.

Women and children were among those killed in the attack after bandits opened fire on farming settlements in the area.

“The vigilante group killed some bandits two weeks before, so Saturday was a reprisal attack by the bandits who stormed the village and shot at everybody,” he said.

“Twelve bodies were recovered and buried on Saturday. We found another 33 in bushes around the village on Sunday morning.” he added.

There has been a spate of attacks in the area blamed on armed bandits who are stealing cattle and property from the villagers.

Nigerian military forces have been deployed permanently to the area, Samuel Aruwan, spokesperson to Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, said in a statement.

The statement said the governor was “concerned by the incessant banditry attacks in the area.”

“The Kaduna State Government has received with sadness reports of the murder of our citizens by armed bandits in Birnin Gwari. The government has sent a message of condolence to the people of Birnin Gwari Emirate,” the statement said.

“Kaduna State Government is deeply committed to overcoming the unfortunate criminality and banditry being carried out against innocent citizens in Birnin Gwari local government.”

The attack comes after local media reported that 14 miners were killed by gunmen in the Birnin Gwari area last month.