Gunmen release 11 hostages abducted in train assault in Nigeria
Gunmen, who had abducted dozens of hostages in an assault on a train back in March, release 11 after long negotiations and the payment of a ransom.
Gunmen released 11 hostages out of 60 they had taken in an attack on a train in March in the Nigerian state of Kaduna. The release took place after long negotiations with Islamic cleric Ahmad Gumi, according to the statements of his spokesman Tukur Mamu on Sunday.
The attack that took place in March resulted in the death of nine people and the injury of 26 others. An eyewitness said the gunmen blew up the train tracks, causing the derailment of the train. They had previously released a number of hostages after the payment of a ransom.
Mamu told the Nigerian Premium Times that Gumi carried out long-lasting negotiations and suggested the location for the hostages to be released. According to him, the negotiations had been ongoing for several weeks and led to the release of 11 hostages at Kidandan forest.
"After reaching agreements about the release, they [the gunmen] insisted that sheikh Gumi must intervene and identify a location where the captives will be handed over," Mamu said.
The spokesperson added that the parties are still negotiating the release of the rest of the hostages, and he is unaware whether the gunmen had been paid another ransom to secure their release.
Police in northwest Nigeria reported that armed cattle thieves killed 16 people in March.
Nigeria's northwest and central regions are a hub of cattle thieves and those kidnapping for ransom, raiding villages and killing and abducting residents after looting and burning homes.
The bandits have recently intensified mass abductions of students in schools for ransom.
Dozens of bandits invaded Ganar-Kiyawa village in Bukkuyum District, shooting 16 residents dead, according to Mohammed Shehu, the Zamfara State Police Spokesperson.