Nigerian military secures release of last hostages from March train attack

A woman is seen with a poster of Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari, as relatives of the Kaduna train kidnapped victims protest, following the threat from bandits to kill the victims if ransom demand is not paid, at the ministry of transport in Abuja, Nigeria.

Nigeria’s military has secured the release of the remaining 23 hostages from a train attack by gunmen in northern Kaduna state in March, which saw dozens kidnapped and six others killed, a defence official said on Wednesday.

The government blamed the attack on Islamist insurgency Boko Haram. The attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train led to the suspension of a service that was popular with passengers who feared attacks and kidnappings by gunmen on Nigerian highways.

Usman Yusuf, secretary to the chief of defence staff, said in a statement that the military had “secured the release and taken custody of all the 23 passengers held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists.”

Nigeria’s state railway company initially said it could not account for 168 people who according to a passenger log had booked to travel on the train. Most were later traced to their homes, but 65 were confirmed missing.

The kidnappers had been releasing hostages in batches.

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