Hundreds of passengers traveling to the north-western region of Nigeria were this evening kidnapped and several others were injured in Dutse, Kaduna State by bandits who allegedly bombed an Abuja-Kaduna bound train.
A passenger, who survived the onslaught, said about 970 passengers might have been taken away into the bush by the rampaging bandits whom he said came on motorbikes wielding guns and other deadly weapons.
The incident happened two days after an attack at the Kaduna Airport where 2 officials of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency ( NAMA) were killed by the bandits with some other workers kidnapped.
The train took off at Idu station in Abuja at 6.pm and was billed to arrive Rigasa train station, Kaduna by 8pm
Although the police authorities are yet to confirm the attack, BusinessDay gathered that the incident happened on Monday night.
The bandits reportedly attacked the train around Dutse axis in Kaduna, just a few kilometres to the Rigasa Train Station in Igabi Local Government Area of the state.
A source said the bandits bombed the train track with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which forced the train to derail.
Upon the stoppage of the train, the assailants were said to have begun to fire gunshots sporadically.
The sources 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.
A passenger on the train, Anas Iro Danmusa, took to his Facebook handle 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 8pm we hv bn here. Btw Katari to Rijana. I am a living witness,” the passenger wrote.
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.
Confirming the incident, Shehu Sani, a former Kaduna Central Senator, said villagers around the area claim the train is under attack.
“Villagers along Abuja-Kaduna road called to confirm hearing multiple gunshots and attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train by terrorists,” he wrote on his verified Twitter handle.
Although bandits have on several occasions attacked Kaduna-bound train, this is the first time they would succeed in breaking into the train to kidnap passengers.
Also confirming the incident, an Abuja resident, Yakubu Momoh, told BusinessDay that one of his friends who boarded the train was a victim of the attack.
“He called me when the attack on the train started. But right now his phone is saying ‘switched off’, meaning he could have been kidnapped,” Momoh said.