At least 32 people had been abducted by some gunmen from a train station in Nigeria’s southern Edo state on Saturday.
The victims were waiting to board a train from Igueben to Warri in neighbouring Delta state when the gunmen armed with AK-47 rifles carried out the act.
The gunmen shot sporadically into the air during the attack before seizing the hostages and taking them into a nearby forest.
Eyewitnesses told local media that some of those who escaped from the attackers sustained bullet wounds. The gunmen are also said to have released two children.
A woman with a baby who also escaped from the attackers was later rescued.
The state spokesperson Chris Osa Nehikhare said in a statement that the train station has been closed as security forces and local hunters search for the hostages.
Last month, the rail service between the capital, Abuja, and the northern city of Kaduna resumed operations after being closed for nine months.
It also followed a hijacking of a high-speed train that left at least eight passengers dead and dozens of others kidnapped. The hostages were released months later.
Nigeria is preparing for next month’s general elections amid rising insecurity.