By Aminu Kutama
Gunmen have attacked a train station in Edo State, southern Nigeria, and kidnapped many passengers.
The spokesperson of the police in the state, Chidi Nwabuzor, said the gunmen were armed with AK-47 rifles. Adding that the exact number of people kidnapped could not be ascertained.
In his statement, Mr Nwabuzor described the gunmen as ‘herdsmen’, loose bands of armed persons who used to rear cattle but have become full-fledged criminals, killing and kidnapping people at will across the country.
“This is to inform the gentlemen of the press that today, 7th of January, 2023 at about 1600hrs, unspecified number of herdsmen armed with AK 47 riffles attacked the train station at Igueben, Edo State and kidnapped unspecified number of passengers who were waiting to board the train to Warri.
“The kidnappers who shot sporadically into the air before kidnapping some passengers left some persons with bullet wounds. The Area Commander Irrua, DPO Igueben Division, and men have visited the scene of crime with members of the Edo State Security Network, local vigilantes, and hunters with a view to protecting the lives and property of the remaining passengers.
“Bush combing operations have commenced in order to rescue the victims and arrest the fleeing kidnappers. Further developments will be communicated,” the spokesperson wrote in the statement.
The Edo incident is the first such attack on a train facility in southern Nigeria. However, the state has witnessed other major criminal acts in the past including an attack on a prison during which dozens of inmates escaped.