Terrorists release hostage video of abductees on train

A group of unidentified Nigerian terrorists released a video on Monday appearing to show hostages being abducted from a passenger train attacked by the terror group on March 28, Africnews reported.

The roughly two-minute video began circulating on social media platforms on April 11. The footage shows “20 people [sat] in a wooded area. One of the hostages appears to be from Southeast Asia and another appears to be white,” Africanews detailed.

“Behind the captives are men lined up who appear to be holding arms,” ​​according to the outlet.

“We are the passengers who departed Abuja for Kaduna on Monday March 28, 2022. We were kidnapped on the way,” a man says in the video clip.

“There are women and children, elderly people with health problems,” he adds.

from Nigeria This day The newspaper reported on April 11 that “more than 30 victims were seen pleading with the federal government to meet the demands of their captors” in the hostage video released earlier that day.

Africanews, in collaboration with Agence France-Presse (AFP), reviewed the video clip on Monday. The duo noted that they were unable to “independently verify the authenticity” of the images at press time.

The release of the video on April 11 marked the second time the terror group has released video of its abductees since it derailed a passenger train traveling from Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to the town of Kaduna on March 28 and abducted an unknown number of its passengers. . The terrorist group released its first hostage video on April 6.

“In the [April 6] images, Alwan Ali-Hassan, a bank manager in Nigeria is surrounded by four armed men masked in military uniform”, Africanews then detailed.

According to the outlet, Ali-Hassan in the video called on Nigerian government authorities “to meet the demands of his captors to secure the release of other hostages who ‘are in dire straits'”.

Ali-Hassan appeared in the April 6 and April 11 videos released by the terror group. Nigerian online newspaper Premium Times reported on April 11 that the April 6 video “was shot before the release of… Alwan Hassan, by the gunmen.”

On April 7, relatives of Ali-Hassan confirmed to the media that Ali-Hassan appeared in the April 6 video. They further told AFP that Ali-Hassan was freed by his captors on April 6 after members of his family complied with the terrorists’ ransom demand.

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The March 28 terrorist attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train killed at least eight people. Gunmen carried out the ambush by detonating explosives affixed to the tracks of the train as it passed through a targeted area. The explosion derailed the locomotive and allowed the gunmen to storm some of its carriages. The terrorists reportedly fired from either side of most carriages and specifically targeted the train’s VIP carriage for kidnappings.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledged the abductions on March 29 but did not reveal how many people were taken from the train. The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), which operated the train in question, said on April 3 that its manifest showed 362 passengers on board the locomotive at the time of the March 28 derailment.

“Many Nigerians, however, believe that [passenger] the numbers are much higher due to fraud and manipulation occurring at stations,” the Premium Times observed on April 4. The NRC is owned and operated by the state.

The NRC said it had “confirmed the safety of 14 additional passengers on board the train, bringing the total number of safe passengers to 186” as of April 3.

“Of the remaining 176 passengers, eight have been confirmed dead, while the families of 22 passengers have officially declared them missing. This indicates that a total of 168 passengers have not yet been found, including the 22 missing by their families,” the Premium Times reported at the time.

“It is not yet clear whether all 168 were removed by the attackers or simply have not been found a week after the incident,” the online newspaper noted.

The Abuja-Kaduna train bombing on March 28 was one of three terrorist incidents that took place across Nigeria from March 26-28. Unidentified gunmen attacked Kaduna airport on March 26, killing a perimeter security guard at the site and injuring several others. On March 27, another group of unidentified militants attacked a Christian village in the Munya region of Niger State. The attackers stormed the communities and abducted a local priest.

Insecurity in Nigeria is long established, although it appears to have worsened in recent months. The country’s regular terrorist attacks and mass kidnappings have traditionally been linked to Boko Haram, a jihadist terrorist group founded in northeastern Nigeria in 2009. Boko Haram has expanded its reach beyond northeastern Nigeria over the past last two years. Reports from April 2021 suggested the group was operating closer to Abuja, Nigeria’s centrally located national capital.

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