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Many feared abducted as terrorists attack Kaduna-bound train

By Joke Falaju (Abuja) and  Benjamin Alade (Lagos)
29 March 2022   |   4:25 am
Suspected terrorists yesterday night detonated explosives on the Abuja-Kaduna train and opened fire on about 970 passengers on board.

Suspected terrorists yesterday night detonated explosives on the Abuja-Kaduna train and opened fire on about 970 passengers on board.

The Kaduna-bound train derailed after explosives believed to be planted on the rail track went off close to Rigasa area of the state. The 6:00p.m. train, which took off from Idu Train Station at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, hit the explosive device about 30 minutes to Rigasa train station in Kaduna at a point between Katari and Rijana community.

Details were sketchy at the time of filling this report but The Guardian gathered that security agents were mobilised to the area to rescue the passengers.

“There is no network in the area so we cannot get any information until the team we have dispatched returns,” said a top security source in Kaduna.

“What we know is that suspected IEDs were planted on the track and the train has derailed. We don’t know for sure if there is any injury or death,” he said.

The Managing Director/CEO of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr. Fidet Okhiria, confirmed the attack but did not go into details, as he was yet to get a clear picture of the whole incident.

“There was an incident but we are managing it. I don’t have the details now,” he said via phone.

A passenger through a phone call confirmed the incident saying the attackers surrounded the train, shooting sporadically.

“All the passengers are currently lying on the floor of the train. The bandits are shooting sporadically. We are in serious danger,” the panic-stricken passenger said.

According to an official source, there were at least 970 passengers onboard the train.

Many passengers are feared injured while several others were said to have been kidnapped by the assailants, though the police authorities are yet to confirm the attack.

Another passenger on the train told Channels Television that upon the stoppage of the train, the assailants began to fire gunshots sporadically. He added that the terrorists later forced their way into the train and kidnapped an unspecified number of people, with some others feared killed.

Meanwhile, troops have been mobilised to the scene of the attack to rescue the remaining passengers.

The passenger, Anas Danmusa, took to his Facebook page to cry for help. “Please this is an emergency. We are inside train at the moment. Kidnappers planted explosives and the train engines have been ruined. We are helpless. Abuja to Kaduna train. Gunshots still being fired right around us. We are just under the seats praying to God while waiting for help. Since 8:00p.m. we have been here.”

According to him, nobody could come to their rescue about one hour into the incident as the assailants tried to force their way into the train.

“There is bad network where we are at the moment. It is just luck that I am able to type this. They are actually trying to force themselves inside the train. No help yet after over one hour.”

After about 20 minutes later, Danmusa confirmed that army personnel had arrived at the scene of the attack.

“Alhamdulillah! The army are with us. We are safe. They have secured the train!”