Gunmen Attack Nigeria Train Station, Kidnap More Than 30

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 traveling 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 kilometers (223 miles) east of Lagos, took place on Saturday evening.

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.

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.

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 traveling from the capital Abuja to the northwestern city of Kaduna.

Eight people were killed, and dozens more were 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.

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.

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