Train attack: “I prayed and prayed and prayed” – Survivor recounts ordeal, says terrorists were shouting ‘Allahuhakubar’ as they shot sporadically
Survivors of Monday’s terrorist attack on an Abuja-Kaduna train have recounted their ordeals.
Several people were killed while many others were abducted by the terrorists during the attack between Kateri and Rijana communities in Kaduna state.
Speaking to journalists on her hospital bed, one of the survivors, Maimuna Ibrahim, who was shot on the thigh, said it was a horrible experience.
“We saw hell, I prayed and prayed and prayed”, she said. “I went to a workshop in Abuja in the morning and I was on my way back to Kaduna that same day after the workshop,” she narrated.
“I was shot on the thigh. But the bullet did not touch my bone. The bullet penetrated out of my thigh. Honestly, we suffered seriously, but thank God soldiers came and they really helped us,”
Maimuna said she was unable to walk after she was shot and soldiers had to carry her out of the train to a vehicle by the expressway
“I was unable to walk, it was the soldiers who carried me on the back to the vehicle that brought us to the hospital. They were able to pass over the cliff, carrying us on their backs! Seriously, they tried because it was not easy climbing the cliff,” she said.
“The terrorists came, were moving about in the train, but they did not come to where I was seated. I was hit by the bullet through the window. They entered SP17. As they were shooting, the police security on the train asked us to lie down on the floor of the train so that the bullet will not get at us. Unfortunately before I could lie down the bullet hit me,”
“I saw the terrorists from the window. They were many, they were small boys of between the ages of 18 and 20. They appeared like Fulani. They wore turbans. They don’t look like Nigerians. They were shouting Allahakubar,”
“They abducted some people, I saw them forcing people out of the train. They were beating them as they were taking them out of the train. They were shouting Allahuhakubar, Allahuhakubar as they shot sporadically”, she said.
Also speaking on her hospital bed, another survivor, Fatima Shuaibu, a student of College of Education, Gidan Waya, Kaduna state, said her sister was killed in the attack.
“My sister, Zainab Awal, was shot on the stormach and she died,” she said amid tears.
Shuaibu said she was seated by the window when she started noticing flashes of torch lights. She said initially, she thought it was the villagers around the area, but when she suddenly heard a loud explosion and the train went off track, she knew there was trouble as her heart started palpitating.
“I was seated by the window in the train. Suddenly I started seeing flashes of touch light, this was around 8pm. Then there was a loud bang as if something exploded. Then the train went off track as if was falling down. We started shouting and praying. As soon as the train stopped, we started hearing gunshots.
“The security personnel on the train announced that everybody should lie down on the floor of the train. They attacked the VIP couch, they abducted some people and took them to the bush, they shot other people
“They operated for about two hours or so before soldiers and Airforce arrived and they exchanged gunshots. The terrorists came with five buses and motorcycles. Those who were abducted were taken away in the Sharon buses
“The terrorists were small boys of between 18 to 20 years. I saw them, they dont look like Nigerians. The soldiers rescued us in the train. Those of us who were injured were evacuated from the train. They climbed the cliff with us and took us to the expressway where vehicles were brought to carry people.