Nigeria: Gunmen abduct over 30 people from train station

World Monday 09/January/2023 11:09 AM
Nigeria: Gunmen abduct over 30 people from train station

Abuja: Gunmen armed with AK-47 rifles abducted more than 30 people on Saturday from a train station in Nigeria's southern Edo state, reported DW News citing authorities.

The unknown armed gunmen kidnapped at least 32 people in the attack. The Edo governor's office said the attack occurred in Igueben at around 4:00 pm (local time), when men armed with AK-47 assault rifles attacked a group of people waiting for a train to the oil town of Warri in Delta state, reported DW News.

State Information Minister Chris Osa Nehikhare said 32 people had been abducted in the assault but noted that one had already escaped.

"At the moment, security personnel -- made up of the military and the police as well as men of the vigilante network and hunters -- are intensifying search and rescue operations in a reasonable radius to rescue the kidnap victims," said Nehikhare.

"We are confident," he said, adding, "that the other victims will be rescued in the coming hours."
The Federal Transportation Ministry called the attack "utterly barbaric," reported DW News.
Several people were also reported to have been injured when gunmen opened fire during the attack.
Igueben is located roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles) northeast of Benin City.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) promptly closed the station after the attack, reported DW News.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack.

Notably, Nigeria has borrowed billions from China in an effort to modernize its rail infrastructure. Yet, wracked by violence from all corners, that rail infrastructure has been repeatedly targeted by terrorists and armed bandits, reported DW News.

In March 2022, the group Boko Haram shot eight people and kidnapped several more in an attack on a train station outside the capital Abuja. Train service was interrupted for more than eight months as a result.

Nigeria has failed to gain control over insurgent forces operating within and across its borders. In the northwest bandit's rage, in the northeast Islamists, a strong separatist movement exists in the southeast of the country and its central states are the site of ethnic clashes, reported DW News.

With a battered economy and security forces stretched thin, authorities have a difficult task ahead as citizens prepare to vote in February's presidential election.