Gunmen from a criminal gang kidnapped 36 people after attacking several villages and two churches in northwest Nigeria yesterday, a local government official said.

Local security commissioner Samuel Aruwan said today that three dozen people were snatched by gunmen who stormed the Maranatha Baptist Church and St Moses Catholic Church in Rubu village in Kaduna state.

Three people were also killed in the raid, he said.

"We have established 36 people were kidnapped by the bandits who attacked the villages in Kajuru local government on Sunday," Mr Aruwan said.

"Yesterday, they released two of the hostages, including a community chief. Thirty four people are now in the custody of the bandits."

In an earlier statement his office said gunmen stormed the villages on motorbikes and also looted shops.

Meanwhile, gunmen suspected to be linked to the Islamic State killed 10 people in northeast Nigeria's Borno state on Saturday, militia sources said.

The 10 victims, nine men and a woman, were scavenging for metal scrap from vehicles burnt in military operations in Goni Kurmi village, near the town of Bama, when they were attacked, two militia sources said.

"The 10 people were all shot," militia leader Babakura Kolo said. "The victims were in the village to scavenge for metal scraps when they ran into the terrorists who shot them dead," said Mr Kolo.

Earlier this month, gunmen killed at least 40 people, including children, in an attack on a Catholic church in southwest Nigeria.

The bloodshed at St Francis Catholic Church in Owo town during a service was a rare assault in Nigeria's usually safer southwest and shocked a country grown used to jihadist assaults and mass kidnappings in the north.

President Michael D Higgins expressed his condolences with the families of those killed and injured in the shooting in Owo earlier this month. However, he was later criticised by the bishop of the diocese in Nigeria who described President Higgins' statement as "incorrect and far-fetched".

No group has claimed the 5 June attack but the government said it suspects Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) was behind the violence.

ISWAP operates mostly in the northeast of the country, where it is part of a 12-year-long jihadist insurgency that has killed more than 40,000 people and displaced 2.2 million more.