Police and officials said gunmen attacked a train station in southern Nigeria, kidnapping about 30 people and injuring others, nearly a year after a bomb attack on a train traveling from the capital.
Kidnapping for ransom is a huge problem in Nigeria where militants frequently attack and kidnap people in large groups, but mostly in the northwestern and central states.
The attack took place at the train station in Edo state, 360 km east of Lagos, on Saturday night.
Police said in a statement to local media that gunmen opened fire before kidnapping passengers who were waiting for a train bound for Warri in South Delta state.
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Edo State Information Commissioner Chris Nehikhar told AFP that 32 people had been kidnapped.
One person managed to escape, bringing the death toll down to 31, he said, while police and local fishermen hunted down the remaining captives.
“The area has been cordoned off. We know the forests better than they do,” Nehijar said.
Not the first attack in Nigeria
In one of the country’s most high-profile attacks, in March last year, militants with explosives blew up railways and attacked a train traveling from the capital, Abuja, to the northwestern city of Kaduna.
Eight people were killed and dozens kidnapped. Train service resumed only eight months later after the release of the final hostages.
President Muhammadu Buhari steps down after next month’s elections, and insecurity will be a major challenge for whoever replaces the former army chief.
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The army has been battling a 13-year jihadist insurgency in the northeast, bandit militias in the northwest and separatist tensions in the southeast.