Bandits attack Kaduna bound passenger train, plant explosive on rail track

The Kaduna – Abuja train service was reportedly attacked on Thursday morning. Senator Shehu Sani who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone was on board the Abuja bound train, said on his Facebook page that the train ran over rails damaged by explosives and nearly skidded off the track.

“This early morning, I was on board when our train ran over another explosive damaged railing.

“The train nearly skid off its track, then we miraculously escaped. All Kaduna -Abuja train operations need to be suspended for today until this issue is addressed”, he said.

Sani also said a similar incident occurred on Wednesday night.

He said, “Yesternight, bandits attacked the Kaduna-Abuja train. They planted an explosive that damaged the rail track and shattered the windshield of the train engine.

They also opened fire, targeting the Driver and the tank. It happened between Dutse and Rijana stations.

“The driver struggled to move towards Kaduna Rigasa station.”

When contacted, the spokesman of the Kaduna state police command, Mohammad Jalige, said he was not in a position to comment on the incident as the train service is under the Railway Police Command.

The Commissioner of Police in charge of the Railway Command, Mr. Oyeyemi Adediran, did not respond to several telephone calls when contacted.

However the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr. Fidet Okhiria, according to agency reports, confirmed the incident but refuted claims of terrorists/bandits attacks on the train.

He attributed the incident to activities of suspected vandals, saying investigation to unravel the incident was underway.

He added the track was destroyed by suspected vandals as vandalism of the NRC facilities have been on the increase in recent times.

Nigeria Railway Service has suspended the Abuja-Kaduna train service after a gun attack on a Kaduna bound passenger train and planting of explosive on the rail track by suspected bandits on Wednesday.

Officials of the agency disclosed that the decision is temporary as plans are underway to holistically review the situation.

“So we have issues with the track and we are fixing it. We are working to resume train services and by today evening, (Thursday), we should run if possible.

“We operated a train from Kaduna to Abuja this morning (Thursday) but we had to suspend operations due to the damaged track until we fix it”, the report quoted him.

He added that everything was being done to improve security on the corridor.

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