Nigeria: Train attackers release hostage video

1 month ago 358

More than a week after an Abuja-Kaduna train was attacked, gunmen released a hostage video depicting the captors and one of the abducted passenger who has since been freed.

Gunmen who carried an attack on a passenger train on March 28 before abducting an undiclosed number of passangers have released a video. In the footage, Alwan Ali-Hassan, a bank manager in Nigeria is surrounded by four masked gunmen in military uniform.

The hostage calls on the authorities to meet the demands of his captors to secure the release of other hostages who "are in a desperate situation," he says. Some may have returned home and failed to contact the authorities.

The AFP couldn't independently authenticate the video but Ali-Hassan relatives confirmed he was now free since Wednesday.

Propaganda

So far, no armed group or jihadist group has claimed responsibility for this attack, or for the video which was shot in a forest area. Armed men locally called bandis have terrorised communities, conducting mass kidnappings for ransom, raiding villages and stealing cattle in the northwest and central Nigerian states.

Although criminal gangs used not to make ideological claims, there is growing concern about the infiltration of jihadists into these gangs. In the video visible elements are reminiscent of the propaganda footage fabricated by jihadist groups operating in northeastern Nigeria, hundreds of miles away.

One week after the men attacked a train with explosives in northwestern Nigeria, the whereabouts of 168 passengers are still unknown, according to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC). 8 Passengers died during the attack.

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