Train attack: Bandits’ use of captives as shields making confrontation difficult – Buhari
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the bandits who attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train are using their abductees as human shields.
This was stated on Monday by Buhari while receiving some residents of the federal capital territory (FCT) at the state house on Sallah homage.
Recall that on March 28, a train on its way from Abuja to Kaduna was attacked by gunmen in Kateri-Rijana area of Kaduna state.
Following the incident, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) confirmed several people missing.
Among two abductees, two persons have been released. Alwan Hassan, acting managing director of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), and Sadiq Abdullahi, son of Ango Abdullahi, convener of Northern Elders Forum (NEF).
While addressing the residents, Buhari said the bandits’ use of their abductees as human shields has made it difficult for the military to confront them.
He, however, gave the assurance that the government would explore every opportunity to secure the captives alive and unhurt.
“As we celebrate this occasion with joy amidst friends and family members, we are fully conscious of the fact that many families in our country are in a state of fear and anxiety on account of the many captives held by terrorists against their will, including those taken away after the tragic bombing of the Abuja-Kaduna train,” he said.
“I have directed security agencies to ensure quick and safe recovery of all victims of kidnapping. I urge the railway management to immediately set up a situation room for the coordination of the rescue mission and for a minute by minute engagement with the families of the captives.
“This should ease their pain and anxiety as we push the military to finding a safe return to their families. My aim is to see all those in captivity safely rescued.
“Let me assure Nigerians that the bandits are just pushing their luck, but this is only for a while before they are finally crushed. They are using civilians as human shields, thereby making it difficult to confront them directly.”
Speaking further, Buhari said the bandits could resort to harming hostages when attacked, adding that “any rescue operation that results in the death of any hostage cannot be deemed a success”.
“The government doesn’t want this kind of tragic outcome. It’s a complex situation that demands proper handling. The primary objective of any rescue operation is to free the hostages safely, unharmed and alive,” he said.
“Let me make it clear, however, that defeating the terrorists and bandits requires more than weapons; we also need human intelligence which is necessary to frustrate terrorist plans.”
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