Avatar photo

By AFP


Gunmen attack Nigeria train station, kidnap more than 30

Gunmen opened fire before abducting passengers who were waiting for a train to Warri in southern Delta state, police said in a statement to local media.


Gunmen attacked a train station in southern Nigeria, kidnapping around 30 people and wounding others, police and officials said, nearly a year after a bomb assault on a train travelling from the capital.

Kidnapping for ransom is a major problem in Nigeria where gunmen have repeatedly attacked and abducted people in large groups, but mostly in the northwestern and central states.

The train station attack in Edo state, 360 km (223 miles) east of Lagos, took place on Saturday evening.

This video is no longer available.

Gunmen opened fire before abducting passengers who were waiting for a train to Warri in southern Delta state, police said in a statement to local media.

ALSO READ: Nigeria says ‘collateral damage’ in air strikes against gangs

Edo State Information Commissioner Chris Nehikhare told AFP that 32 people had been abducted. 

One person managed to escape, lowering the toll to 31, he said, as police and local hunters tracked the remaining captives. 

“We have the area cordoned off. We know the forests better than them,” said Nehikhare.

Not first attack in Nigeria

In one of the country’s most high-profile attacks, in March last year, gunmen with explosives blew up the tracks and assaulted a train travelling from the capital Abuja to the northwestern city of Kaduna.

Eight people were killed and dozens more kidnapped. The train service only resumed eight months later after the final hostages were released.

President Muhammadu Buhari steps down after an election next month, and insecurity will be a major challenge for whoever replaces the former army commander.

ALSO READ: Nigeria train resumes eight months after deadly attack

The military is battling a 13-year-long jihadist insurgency in the northeast, bandit militias in the northwest and separatist tensions in the country’s southeast.

This video is no longer available.

Read more on these topics

kidnapping Nigeria

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits