More Than 150 Unaccounted for After Train Attack

Authorities say some are being held for ransom after Nigeria attack
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2022 4:29 PM CDT

At least 168 people are unaccounted for after a deadly attack on a train in northwest Nigeria, authorities say. The Nigerian Railway Corporation said Sunday that cell phones of more than 140 passengers from the Abuja-Kaduna train have been switched off or are ringing without being answered since the attack a week ago, reports Reuters. Authorities say the attackers blew up a section of track before opening fire on the night train, killing at least eight people. The 18 police officers on the train were outgunned. Relatives of some of the missing people say they have been contacted by bandits demanding ransom

It's not clear whether all 168 missing people were abducted or if some went home without contacting authorities, the BBC reports. The governor of Kaduna state has accused kidnapping gangs of being in league with the Islamic militant group Boko Haram. With many travelers avoiding roads in the region because of kidnap gangs, the train had been a popular alternative, but this was the second attack along the same stretch of track in the space of six months, reports the AP. "Nigerians are finally convinced nowhere is safe," journalist Chris Paul Otaigbe tells the BBC. "Many would now prefer staying at home or within their neighborhoods." (More Nigeria stories.)

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