Nigerian police say one officer was killed when gunmen attacked a police station in Gombe state in northern Nigeria.

Police spokesman Fwaji Attajiri said three of the attackers were killed in the shootout early Tuesday about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the state capital, also called Gombe.

Gombe state is relatively peaceful but it borders three northeastern states that have been under emergency rule for more than six months as security forces battle with Islamic extremist rebels from Boko Haram.

The last deadly attack in Gombe was six months ago on another police station. Boko Haram was not directly blamed for either attack but the rebels have killed thousands in the past four years, targeting security forces, government buildings, churches, mosques, schools and infrastructure, mostly in northeastern Nigeria.