Gunmen stormed an evangelical church in central Nigeria, cut the electricity and opened fire once the building was plunged into darkness, killing 19 people, including the pastor, officials said Tuesday.
Residents in the town of Okene in Kogi state, where the church was attacked late Monday, reported fresh gun battles on a main commercial street on Tuesday, but the circumstances were not immediately clear.
Officials said it was too early to say who carried out the church raids, but the radical Islamist group Boko Haram has repeatedly targeted Christians during worship in a series of gun and suicide bomb attacks.
Kogi, southwest of the capital Abuja, has not been hit particularly hard by the Islamists, although members of the group are believed to have come from the ethnically diverse area.
In mid-July, a bomb went off near another church in Okene, but caused no casualties, while in April, the military said it had discovered a Boko Haram bomb making factory in Kogi, in the town of Ogaminana.