New Telegraph

December 8, 2023

KADUNA TRAIN ATTACK: Terrorists targeted VIP coach –Investigation

…forced their way in, screaming in what sounded like Arabic –Eye witness

Indications have emerged that the terrorists who attacked a Kaduna-bound train on Monday night targeted the VIP Coach, which had on board, politicians, military officers and other high profile personalities. New Telegraph learnt that theterroristgroupwereeither on the trail of a particular personality or apparently acted on the intelligence that many important dignitarieswere on board the train. The Abuja-Kaduna train service had in recent times become the choice means of transportfor thesehighprofile individuals since the roads became impassable due to the activities of kidnappers. An eye witness, who narrated the ugly encounter with the terrorists, said the terrorists first blew up the rail track and pounced on the passengersassoonasthetrain derailed and came to a stop in the middle of nowhere.

The narrator hinted that some security personnel on board the trainresistedtheattackersand exchanged gunfire for a long while before a reinforcement of soldiers arrived at the location. “We boarded the 6:27 train to Kaduna. The journey was very typical and uneventful until roughly 25 minutes from Kaduna. We heard a bang and the coach started wobbling.

I realized that our coach had derailed and it started leaning to one side; fortunately the train came safely to a halt and then westartedhearing gunfire. We all dropped to the floor. “I heard muffled voices with Fulani accents from outside the train, they eventually forced their way into the train screaming in what sounded like Arabic and went to the coach behind ours. “They let out some shots which we later learnt killed a passenger, rattling them and causing them to leave the train with many passengers from that coach. They continuedshooting untiltheyleft us. In the meantime, the police escorts rallied together and resisted the onslaught.

They exchanged gunfire for so long after the attack. “We remained on board the train in the dark and in silence until soldiers came and announced their arrival. They secured the train, removed the injured and some of the dead from the train. We were told by the security detail that many coaches had gone off the tracks and so the train wouldn’t be able to move further.

“On getting out I observed that there were steep embankments on either side of the train. The military helped us all up the steep slope and got us to sit in the ground at the top. A Brigadier-General whose name I didn’t catch addressed us. He said that vehicles were on their way to pick us up. “However, we were going to have to walk to where it would be easier for the vehicles to maneuver due to the poor state of the tracks to our point of rescue. We then walked to the Kaduna-Abuja road where we were immediately loaded onto buses and brought to Kaduna. In my case we were dropped off at Leventis flyover at roughly 1:45 am.

“We’re grateful to God for the deliverance from injury, being kidnapped and death. “Ourheartsbleedforthose that died in this incident; it could have happened to any one of us. Let’s pray for those they left behind and that this dangerous security situation is brought under control.” Meanwhile, Sen. Suleiman Abdul Kwari, a member of the All ProgressivesCongress (APC) representing Kaduna North Senatorial District in the National Assembly disclosed that he was in contact with some of the victims of the attack while the terrorists held them hostage.

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