At least seven people were killed and several were missing after suspected bandits attacked a passenger train headed to the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna from the capital Abuja on Monday night, a passenger and a security source said.
Suspected bandits blew rail tracks and exchanged fire with security officials aboard the train, the second such incident since October that highlights growing insecurity in Africa’s most populous nation.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) said in a statement on Tuesday it had temporarily suspended services on the Abuja-Kaduna route following the attack, which took place some 30 minutes from Kaduna.
Two NRC workers and five security personnel were killed when gunmen opened fire on the train, a passenger and member of Kaduna’s security service told Reuters.
A Kaduna police spokesman did not respond to calls and text messages seeking comment.
Kaduna security services were expected to hold a media briefing media later on Tuesday, local television stations reported.
Kaduna-based journalist Yusuf Atta said his mother and sister were on the train and were not accounted for as of Tuesday morning.
Most of the more than 900 passengers were taken from the scene of the attack on buses to Kaduna as deployed security forces kept watch on the train, relatives of the passengers told Reuters.
An unknown number of passengers were injured and receiving treatment at a local hospital, Kaduna state internal security ministry said.