Wednesday , September 27 2023

16 bags yet unclaimed one year after- Commissioner

One year after the Abuja-Kaduna train attack, the Kaduna State Government on Tuesday announced that 16 bags belonging to victims of the AK-9 passenger train had remained unclaimed.

The reports that on 28 March, 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 incident led to the death of eight passengers while others were kidnapped by the dared-devil terrorists.

The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, while recounting in a statement to mark one year of the unfortunate incident, noted that 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.

Aruwan said other items identified and retrieved from the Kaduna State Government by their owners include, certificates, documents, passports, car and house keys, cash, ATM cards, mobile phones, tablets, laptops and their accessories, books, perfumes, as well as clothing and jewellery.

The Commissioner, however, noted that as of the time of the update, 16 bags, along with an assortment of loose belongings including prayer mats, books and clothing items, belonging to the victims remained unclaimed.

He said the state government 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.”

He hailed the gallantry of the security forces during the period, and offered the state government’s heartfelt sympathy to victims of the tragedy and their families.

He said, “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 7pm 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.”

Speaking on, he confirmed that nine passengers were killed in the attack, with over 60 kidnapped and more than 20 injured.

But passengers injured were successfully evacuated by the troops, staff of Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency and other humanitarian volunteers.

The Commissioner 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 already collected their belongings directly from the 1 Division Headquarters.

In spite of that, Aruwan said, the Kaduna State Government will continue to maintain detailed records of all items collected, including the contact details of victims or their representatives.

“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 recognized and deeply appreciated”, the Commissioner said.

Aruwan assured that the state government’s close and improved collaboration would be sustained “with all security agencies for prompt response and effective counter-terrorism efforts in the state.”

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