The Kaduna State government has said survivors of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack are yet to pick up at least 16 of their bags one year after the incident.
The State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, made the disclosure via a statement to mark one year of the unfortunate incident on Tuesday.
He said between April and November 2022, 62 persons (victims of the attack or their relatives) came forward to claim 94 items of luggage containing a range of personal effects.
On March 28, 2022, terrorists planted explosive devices along the rail track and when the Abuja-Kaduna bound AK-9 passenger train approached the point, the device exploded, causing the train to derail.
The unfortunate incident killed eight passengers while the terrorists kidnapped others.
The commissioner detailed that the state retrieved some items ranging from certificates, documents, passports, car and house keys, cash, ATM cards, mobile phones, tablets, laptops and their accessories, books, perfumes, clothing, and clothing jewellery.
“16 bags, along with an assortment of loose belongings including prayer mats, books and clothing items, belonging to the victims remained unclaimed”, he added.
According to him, Kaduna State would continue to maintain detailed records of all items collected, including the contact details of victims or their representatives while adding that “the window is still open for the collection of the remaining items at the ministry.”
“Exactly one year ago, on the 28th of March 2022, a horrendous attack was launched by terrorists on the Kaduna-bound train from Abuja.
“The terrorists derailed the train at around 7 pm by setting off an Improvised Explosive Device to blow up a section of the track.
“They then opened fire on the coaches and kidnapped scores of passengers from the train.
“In the heat of the confusion, a terrified passenger finally alerted the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs on the exact location of the train, which was traced to Kasarami-Audujongom general area of Chikun LGA.
“Immediately, Major General KI Mukhtar, the then GOC 1 Division and Brigadier General UT Upuene, then Garrison Commander moved with their brave troops to secure the train and rescue the remaining passengers.”
He did recount that nine passengers were killed in the attack, with over 60 kidnapped and more than 20 injured.
He, however, placated that passengers injured were successfully evacuated by the troops, Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency staff and other humanitarian volunteers.
He also stated that after the search and rescue, troops secured passengers’ luggage and thereafter handed them over to the Kaduna State Government on 31st March 2022.
There was also a detailed inventory of over 100 items of luggage and several lost belongings carefully labelled. Records confirmed that nine victims had collected their belongings directly from the 1 Division Headquarters.
“One year on, the Kaduna State Government again offers its heartfelt commiserations to all victims of the tragedy, and their families.
“The efforts of all security agencies in responding to the attack to secure the lives of many passengers are recognised and deeply appreciated”, the Commissioner said.
Aruwan assured the people that the government would continue to foster smooth collaboration with every stakeholder in the security framework to counter-terrorism efforts in Kaduna State.
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