Train Attack:  I hid under a seat, saw them taking away many passengers ― Survivor

By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo & David Royal

A survivor, Malam Muhammadu, said the terrorists came with buses and evacuated a number of passengers during the Monday night train attack. 

He said in an interview monitored on radio Tuesday night, that he was in coach SP 17 when the train was hit and derailed.

He said “The terrorists, many of them, rushed into our coach and killed a passenger. I hid under the seat and saw them taking away many passengers.”

“An argument ensued amongst the terrorists after killing the passenger and they couldn’t pay attention to us. We were about 10 that remained in coach when they left.

” The terrorists proceeded to the VIP coach and abducted many passengers. One of the VIPs who managed to escape and returned to us told us that they filled a vehicle with abductees.

“They came with Sharon vehicles, they shot some abductees in the vehicles but 9 passengers were later confirmed dead  Others were severely injured, they were shot in their legs.

“We saw the train driver. He came out and attempted to run but they shot and killed him. I saw the terrorists with my own eyes. They were chanting Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar!! Come down, come down!!”.

” I was hiding under the seat praying…it remained about two steps for the terrorists to get to me but after killing a passenger, they went out of the arguing. “

“They abducted many passengers. Later about 300 soldiers came. The soldiers took us to a nearby hill where we sat down. They said vehicles will come to convey us to Kaduna. The soldiers also attended to those who were injured.

“The soldiers said we should stop making noise and put out lights because we could still be in danger. We were at a place after Rijana about 20-minute ride to Rigasa Kaduna.

“Some passengers were injured severely. Some old people had trauma, one old person had asthmatic attack, another died of a heart attack. The dead bodies were left in the train. It will be difficult to convey the corpses to the hilltop where we took refuge.

” We were traumatized for about 2 hours. The soldiers exchanged fire with the terrorists. They chased them and rescued some passengers, but we were really traumatized. Almighty Allah saved us “

” The soldiers killed some of the terrorists. Some terrorists lost their lives,” he said. 

Speaking to journalists on her hospital bed, another of the survivors, Maimuna Ibrahim, who was shot on the thigh, said it was a horrible experience.

“We saw hell, I prayed and prayed and prayed”, she said. “I went to a workshop in Abuja in the morning and I was on my way back to Kaduna that same day after the workshop. I was shot on the thigh. But the bullet did not touch my bone. The bullet penetrated out of my thigh. Honestly, we suffered seriously, but thank God soldiers came and they really helped us”. She said.

Maimuna said she was unable to walk after she was shot and soldiers had to carry her out of the train to a vehicle by the expressway

“I was unable to walk, it was the soldiers who carried me on the back to the vehicle that brought us to the hospital. They were able to pass over the cliff, carrying us on their backs! Seriously, they tried because it was not easy climbing the cliff. The terrorists came, were moving about in the train, but they did not come to where I was seated. I was hit by the bullet through the window. They entered SP17. As they were shooting, the police security on the train asked us to lie down on the floor of the train so that the bullet will not get at us. Unfortunately, before I could lie down the bullet hit me.

READ ALSO: Abuja-Kaduna train attack: Mourning now an everyday ordeal ― CAN

“I saw the terrorists from the window. They were many, they were small boys between the ages of 18 and 20. They appeared like Fulani. They wore turbans. They don’t look like Nigerians. They were shouting Allahakubar. They abducted some people, I saw them forcing people out of the train. They were beating them as they were taking them out of the train.” She added.

Another survivor, Fatima Shuaibu, a student of College of Education, Gidan Waya, Kaduna state, said her sister was killed in the attack.

“My sister, Zainab Awal, was shot on the stomach and she died,” she said amid tears.

“I was seated by the window in the train. Suddenly I started seeing flashes of touch light, this was around 8pm. Then there was a loud bang as if something exploded. Then the train went off track as if was falling down. We started shouting and praying. As soon as the train stopped, we started hearing gunshots. The security personnel on the train announced that everybody should lie down on the floor of the train. They attacked the VIP couch, they abducted some people and took them to the bush, they shot other people

“They operated for about two hours or so before soldiers and Airforce arrived and they exchanged gunshots. The terrorists came with five buses and motorcycles. Those who were abducted were taken away in the Sharon buses. The terrorists were small boys of between 18 to 20 years. I saw them, they don’t look like Nigerians. The soldiers rescued us in the train. Those of us who were injured were evacuated from the train. They climbed the cliff with us and took us to the expressway where vehicles were brought to carry people.” She added.

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