Nigerian Kaduna train attack: Pregnant woman released

Gunmen who kidnapped dozens of train passengers in northern Nigeria have freed one of the hostages – a severely pregnant woman.

In a video message circulating on social media, the woman said her captors told her she was released on “compassionate grounds.”

She was one of those kidnapped when armed men blew up railways and attacked a busy train between the capital Abuja and Kaduna in March.

At least nine people were killed.

It’s unclear exactly how many people were kidnapped, but photos released by the gunman last month Show at least 62 captives.

Kaduna State Internal Security Commissioner Samuel Aruwan confirmed to the BBC that the hostage had been released, saying she would receive medical treatment.

Local media reported that another hostage had given birth in captivity last month.

The hostage-taking had earlier released a bank executive, presumably out of sympathy given his advanced age – although sources say a ransom has been paid for his case.

Nigerian authorities have blamed the attack on members of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram, who are linked to a kidnapping gang operating in northwestern Nigeria.

The kidnappers said they were not seeking ransom, but authorities were aware of their demands without providing details.

Analysts say they may demand a prisoner swap — in exchange for the arrest of some of their colleagues by Nigerian security forces.

The Abuja-Kaduna highway is one of the most dangerous roads in the country, so more and more commuters are using the railway, which opened in 2016.

Following the hijacking, it was announced that military aircraft would escort the train once repairs on the 190-kilometer (120-mile) track were completed. It’s unclear when service will resume.

Kidnapping for ransom is commonplace in Nigeria.

Armed groups killed more than 3,500 people and kidnapped many more in the first three months of this year, according to a report by security research and intelligence firm Beacon Consulting Ltd.

Road map between Abuja and Kaduna

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