Some of the survivors of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack, which occurred on Monday, have narrated their experiences.
Giving an update on the incident on Tuesday, Lucky Irabor, chief of defence staff, said seven people were killed, 29 injured and several others abducted.
Three of the survivors, who spoke with journalists, described their ordeal as “horrible”.
The victims are currently receiving treatment at the St. Gerald Catholic Hospital in Kakuri, Kaduna.
Maimuna Ibrahim, who was shot in the thigh, said she was coming back to Kaduna from a workshop in Abuja and decided to board the train.
She said she was unable to walk after being shot and the soldiers had to carry her out of the train to a vehicle by the expressway.
“We saw hell. I prayed and prayed and prayed,” she said.
Thank God soldiers came and they really helped us. I was unable to walk. It was a soldier who carried me on the back to a 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.
“The terrorists were moving about in the train, but they did not come to where I was seated. I was hit by a bullet that came in 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 hit us. Unfortunately, before I could lie down the bullet hit me.
“I saw the terrorists from the window. They were many; they looked to be between the ages of 18 and 20. They wore turbans. They didn’t look like Nigerians. They were shouting ‘Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar’ as they shot sporadically.
“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.”
MY SISTER WAS KILLED WHILE I SURVIVED
Fatima Shuaibu, a student of the College of Education, Gidan Waya in Kaduna, said her sister was killed in the attack.
“My sister, Zainab Awal, was shot in the stomach and she died,” Shuaibu said amid tears.
“I was seated by the window in the train. Suddenly, I started seeing flashes of light that appeared to be from a torchlight. This was around 8pm. 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 coach. They abducted some people and took them to the bush. They shot other people. They operated for about two hours or so before soldiers arrived and they exchanged gunshots.
“The terrorists came with five Sharon buses and motorcycles. Those who were abducted were taken away in the Sharon buses.”
‘IT WAS LIKE A DREAM’
Mohammed Isa, another victim who was shot in his right arm, said the incident was “like a dream”.
“All of a sudden they started shooting at the train from afar, then they started coming closer,” Isa said.
“When they got to the train, they attempted to force the door open, but they couldn’t. So they shot at the door and it opened. They were speaking Hausa.”