Two days after terrorists attacked the Kaduna International Airport, Kaduna State is back in the news again over another attack.
Terrorists attacked an Abuja-Kaduna train between Katari and Rijana in Kaduna on Monday, March 28th 2022. The attack started around 8 p.m.
The terrorists bombed the rail tracks to force the train to stop before they invaded it to attack passengers. Some of the passengers raised alarm on social media to alert the authorities of the developing situation.
A Facebook user, Anas Iro Danmusa, posted this:
Danmusa later posted that Nigerian military troops eventually arrived at the scene and chased the terrorists just before 10 p.m.
Another passenger, identified as Dr Megafu Nwando Chinelo, also posted on Twitter around 9 p.m. that she had been shot by the terrorists.
Chinelo’s friends have announced that she didn’t survive the gunshot wound.
The terrorists also kidnapped some passengers before the arrival of security forces.
What’s the government doing?
The Kaduna State government announced around 11 p.m. that passengers had been secured and were being evacuated from the scene. The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, noted in his report that injured passengers were being rushed to the hospital.
Aruwan said in another statement on March 29th 2022 that the evacuation of all passengers had been completed. The commissioner admitted that there were fatalities but he didn’t reveal details of how many people have been confirmed dead from the attack.
The government is also taking financial responsibility for the medical treatment of those injured in the attack.
The Kaduna State government is coordinating with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to determine how many passengers are missing.
How Nigerians are helping victims
Dozens of injured victims of the Kaduna train attack are receiving medical treatment at various hospitals. Some of them urgently need blood, and there’s an ongoing campaign urging people to donate blood for them.
NRC suspends service
The NRC has suspended operations along the Abuja-Kaduna route:
The exact number of people killed or kidnapped is still unknown.
It’s the second Kaduna train attack in five months
This is not the first terrorist attack on trains along the Abuja-Kaduna corridor. Terrorists similarly bombed rail tracks in October 2021 and shot at passengers while the train travelled between Dutse and Rijana. There were no casualties.
The latest attack continues a trend of violence and bloodshed that has lasted for a few years in Kaduna State. Government records show that terrorists killed 1,192 people in dozens of attacks in 2021. They also kidnapped 3,348 people for ransom.
Many of the attacks have been happening in rural areas and on highways, but the terrorists have started targeting infrastructure like the airport and railway. The latest trend of attacks is adding an extra layer of worry for Nigerians who have to travel around the country as the government struggles to contain escalating insecurity.
Who’s responsible for the train attack?
Terrorists operating in Kaduna State, and the northwestern region, don’t have a distinct identity like, say, Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) terrorising the northeastern region. The terrorists are different armed groups who are mostly still referred to as “bandits” because of the lack of ideological angle to their terror activities.
The terrorists typically kidnap people for ransom by directly contacting the families of their victims. The Kaduna State government notably stays out of ransom transactions. The state’s governor, Nasir El-Rufai, believes paying terrorists enriches them, and has called on the Federal Government to bomb the forests where the terrorists hide with their hostages.