Panic As Terrorists Bomb Train, Abduct Many In Kaduna
Nigeria’s state of insecurity hit another low on Monday as a Kaduna-bound train from Abuja derailed after explosive devices planted on the rail track by terrorists exploded between Dutse and Kakau areas of Kaduna State and destroyed the train’s engine.
This attack is coming barely two days after terrorists attacked Kaduna International Airport, killing a NAMA official.
Ironically, yesterday’s train attack occurred just as Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was addressing members of the press where he said the country was becoming safer everyday.
Earlier reports said the train was conveying between 900 and 1000 people when the attack took place.
An earlier report initially carried by Daily Trust on Monday night said the 6 pm train, which took off from Idu Train Station at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) hit the explosive about 30 minutes to Rigasa train station in Kaduna.
Initial reports indicated 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,” Daily Trust reported a top security source in Kaduna as saying at the time.
“What we know is that suspected IED’s 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, Mr. Fidet Okhiria, confirmed the attack but did not go into details.
“There was an incident but we are managing it. I don’t have the details now,” he told Daily Trust on phone.
But one of the passengers on the train identified as Anas Danmusa said the attackers fired several gunshots.
Danmusa said passengers had to hide under the seats until security operatives arrived the scene.
“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 pm we have been here. Between Katari to Rijana. I am a living witness,” he initially tweeted.
He later wrote back to confirm the presence of security operatives, saying, “We are safe now.”
But another passenger said the terrorists forced their way into the ill-fated train and abducted some persons.
The passenger also said he counted six people with bullet wounds but could not say if they were dead.
“There are six people we have counted with bullet wounds, there may be more but so far this is what I can confirm. Security agents are trying to get them medical attention,” he said.
“We also learnt that the bandits forced their way into some coaches and have abducted some people.”
Zainab Musa, another passenger, described the attack as shocking.
“Currently we are all lying down flat and Security forces have started converging to drive the terrorists away. We are grateful to be safe and not harmed,” she said over the phone.
Danmusa said the explosives planted by the terrorists ‘destroyed’ the engine of the train.
He said, “As at 8 pm, we were just lying on the seats of the train praying. The gunmen were shooting sporadically around Katari-Rijana area.”
In a statement, Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, said security agencies had secured the train trapped by terrorists.
“The Kaduna State Government received multiple reports of an attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train service at around Kateri-Rijana general areas.
“Relevant action agencies were urgently contacted, and robust deployments of personnel were swiftly made to the area to secure the passengers on board.
“Efforts are ongoing to convey the passengers from the location and others that sustained injuries have been rushed to hospitals for urgent medical attention.
“The Government of Kaduna State will be liaising with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to ascertain the list from the passengers’ manifest for efficient tracking.”
It would be recalled that on Sunday, terrorists killed at least 15 villagers in Hayin Kanwa village in the Yakawada ward in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
This happened shortly after terrorists murdered at least 50 persons in the same Giwa local government area of the state few days ago.
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