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Gunmen attack train in Nigeria

A train was attacked at around 9 p.m. local time near Rijana station, on the route connecting Abuja, the country's capital, to Kaduna, a city in the country's northwest, where militants had attempted to attack the airport the previous weekend.

However, the situation appears to have deteriorated in recent months: gunmen attempted to assault the same train line in October, and the military thwarted an attack on Kaduna airport last Saturday, where militants murdered a security guard and temporarily disrupted air operations.

Local police claimed Tuesday morning that gunmen attacked a passenger train in northwestern Nigeria on Monday night, leaving "hurt and dead" among the almost 1,000 passengers on board.

Samuel Aruwan, the head of security in Kaduna State, did not provide an exact death toll or disclose whether any passengers had been kidnapped, but did state that "a rescue mission was ongoing." Although no group has claimed responsibility for the incident, suspicion swiftly fell on armed gangs that have carried out thousands of abductions and homicides in the country's northwest and central areas, where they plunder, kidnap, and murder.

Many kidnappings for ransom have occurred on the route connecting Abuja and Kaduna, the primary road leading to Kano, the country's second-largest city and a major commerce hub in the Sahel, for several years. As a result of the rising level of insecurity, more passengers are opting for the more expensive but safer train or airline. On Tuesday morning, the passengers stuck on board the train were evacuated. According to multiple sources, the attackers detonated explosives and fired a huge number of rounds before being defeated an hour later by soldiers stationed nearby.

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