A group of gunmen on motorcycles entered the villages of Damri, Sabon Garin and Kalahe in coordinated attacks on Friday afternoon, shooting people as they tried to flee.
"The military has secured the Kaduna-bound train from Abuja trapped by terrorists," spokesperson for the Kaduna state government says.
At least 16 people killed in remote Ganar-Kiyawa village of northwest Zamfara state, police say while local media report 37 deaths in the raid.
Some leaders of the armed gangs, known locally as bandits, were among those killed during an operation led by the army and volunteers.
Heavily armed bandits have recently stepped up attacks on schools, kidnapping students for ransom, prompting a military response.
Violence is increasing against a backdrop of poor governance and deteriorating socio-economic conditions in northern Nigeria, further exacerbating instability across the region.
Nigerian army rescued 180 people in the early hours of Friday, but around 30 male and female students remain unaccounted for after gunmen attacked a forestry college in northwestern Kaduna state overnight.
The pre-dawn attack on Tara village is the latest in a series of attacks by criminal gangs known locally as "bandits" who for years have terrorised communities. The attackers also stole 100 cows.
Nigerian police and a local official said that a suspected criminal gang attacked the Government Girls Science Secondary School in Jangebe, a village in Zamfara state, kidnapping at least 300 schoolgirls.
A gang last week took 53 people hostage, including nine children, from a state-owned bus in Niger’s Kundu village.
The gang opened fire on the soldiers who were on foot in a forested part of the Jibia district in Katsina state, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Those killed included children abandoned by their parents during the attack in the village of Gwaska, in Kaduna state, a vigilante said.
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