Armed ViolenceNews

Kaduna Train Attack: Relatives Steer Negotiations As Nigerian Gov’t Assumes Passive Stance

The terror group responsible for abducting passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train on Monday has started reaching out to relatives of the victims.

Some of the relatives of the passengers abducted on board the train moving between Nigeria’s capital, Abuja and Kaduna in the restive Northwest, have begun negotiations with the terror group behind the March 28 abduction. 

HumAngle understands that the terror group has initiated contact with relatives to demand ransom to facilitate the release of their loved ones.  

The attack, which occurred around 8 p.m. local time, involved explosives to halt the train around a valley. This was followed by a barrage of gunfire, assault, and abduction of a yet to be ascertained number of people. 

The attackers reportedly used several vehicles kept near the ambush point to move the victims. 

The Nigerian military secured the train after arriving at the location about an hour into the attack. The soldiers subsequently assisted the survivors and moved them to a nearby road before evacuation to Kaduna.

Several passengers injured in the attack are being treated at the Army’s 44 Reference Hospital in Kaduna. 

The abductors have begun reaching out directly to individual families despite a directive from the Nigerian President to security forces to rescue the passengers and conduct a hunt for the terrorists.  

The passive nature of the government towards negotiations and any potential rescue could create risks for the victims and the broader kidnapping epidemic ravaging the region. 
HumAngle has previously noted the risks associated with the absence of a hostage crisis lead agency and a negotiation framework. Alongside the impact on the recurring abductions by terror gangs notorious for targeting communities and commuters.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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