Abuja: At least 18 people, including two university professors, were killed at a university in Nigeria's northern city of Kano during a church service, said witnesses and health workers.

Though Bayero University spokesperson Mustapha Zahradeen told reporters that the actual casualties of the attack, which occurred Sunday morning, were seven, local health workers said rescue operators removed at least 18 dead bodies from the site, reported on Monday.

According to a witness, some gunmen attacked the faithful when they were holding a service in the morning in a lecture theatre at the university's old site.

The gunmen threw some improvised explosive devices in the lecture theatre and opened fire on those who attempted to run away from the scene, the witness added.

Members of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) later arrived at the scene and engaged the attackers in a gun battle.

(Agencies)