Gunmen on Monday evening allegedly detonated explosives on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line and opened fire on the train which had hundreds of passengers on board.
Some passengers on board the train and sources at the Idu Train Station in Abuja stated that the attack occurred between Katari and Rijana in Kaduna State.
It was, however, learned that men of the Nigerian Army intervened and prevented the attackers from taking away the passengers, though details about the incident were sketchy on Monday evening.
An official of the Nigerian Railway Corporation confirmed the incident to our correspondent.
“We don’t have many details now and passengers cannot give the exact information because most of them went into hiding,” the source, who did not want his name in print, said.
The official added, “It was a continuous gunshot and this made the train stop. There are also reports of explosives detonated on the train line, but this information has to be verified.”
A passenger on board, with the Twitter name, Anas Danmusa, tweeted that the Nigerian Army had to intervene.
“The army is with us. We are safe,” he wrote on Monday night.
The Abuja/Kaduna Train Station Manager, Paschal Nnorli, did not take calls made to his telephone line and did not reply a text message sent to him on the matter.
On October 21, last year, the NRC had to stop services on the Abuja-Kaduna route following allegations that a part of the train track was bombed by bandits.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Government has confirmed the Monday terrorist attack.
The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who confirmed the attack, however, said that the military had secured the train trapped by the hoodlums.
In a statement titled, ‘Troops secure Abuja-Kaduna train trapped by terrorists,’ the commissioner said, “Security agencies have reported to the Kaduna State Government that the military has secured the Kaduna bound train from Abuja 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 to ascertain the list from the passengers’ manifest for efficient tracking.
“This is to acquire an accurate inventory of all passengers and their actual status.”
Aruwan quoted Governor Nasir El-Rufai to have commended the swift response of the security forces and thanked them for securing the train.
He added, “Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i, who has been in constant touch with the security forces, commended them for their prompt response, and thanked them for successfully securing the train and passengers on board.
“Security forces continue to comb the general area in additional rescue efforts.
“Emerging developments will be communicated to the public.”