ISWAP, Ansaru Bomb Rail Track, Ground Abuja-Kaduna Services

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Terrorists loyal to Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP) and Ansaru were responsible for the destruction of the Abuja-Kaduna rail track, credible security sources told the Daily Trust on Thursday.

Train services in the Abuja-Kaduna corridor were partially obstructed Wednesday night after the terrorists reportedly blew a section of the track using dynamites.

The assailants returned in the early hours of Thursday and inflicted serious damage on the rail track, forcing the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to suspend services.

Though the NRC described the development as an act of vandalism, credible security sources fingered terrorists.

How trouble started

Passengers said one of the locomotives, which left Abuja at 6 pm Wednesday hit the first explosive planted by the assailants around 8 pm.

They said that they were stranded for almost six hours before a second locomotive that left Abuja to lend support pulled them to the Rigasa Train Station in Kaduna around 2.30 am.

The second explosion reportedly went off Thursday when the train for the 6.40 am service that left Rigasa Station in Kaduna ran over another set of explosives that damaged the railings.

Former Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, who boarded the morning train for Abuja, wrote on his Facebook page that the train he was travelling in nearly veered off the track but “miraculously escaped”.

A senior security source confirmed to our reporter that security agents had in the last few days intercepted and neutralised terrorists attempting to blow up bridges and rail tracks around the Kaduna axis of the rail line.

“These (attacks) have the signature of ISWAP and Ansaru written all over it, bandits want to kidnap and trade human beings for ransom but this is clear terrorism,” he said.

“The aim was to kill the people on the train. But we thank God that they have not succeeded,” he said.

Another top security source confirmed that within the last few days, security agents had intercepted information of an attempt to blow up one of the rail line bridges but through concerted efforts, the terrorists could not succeed.

Daily Trust reports that while presenting its security report for the third quarter on Wednesday, Kaduna State Government had hinted of growing interaction between terrorists and bandits in the state.

Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said, “Security agencies have been alive to the growing interaction of bandits and terrorists. Many Boko Haram terrorists were intercepted trying to enter Kaduna State. The Ansaru group has also grown in stature and visibility, as evidenced by the slaughter of 21 residents of Inono, Sabuwa LGA of neighbouring Katsina State.”

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