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APC chieftain Tinubu put death toll in Abuja-Kaduna train attack at over 60, call-off his 70th birthday celebration

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At least seven people were killed and several were missing after suspected terrorists attacked a passenger train headed to 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.

However, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressive Congress and presidential aspirant, Bola Tinubu said more than 60 people died in the train incident.

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“I have just been informed of a very sad incident of over 60 people and many more were killed and bombed on a train between Kaduna and Abuja just last night,” Tinubu said at the venue of his cancelled colloquium organised in commemoration of his 70th birthday in Lagos on Tuesday.

“That is a very serious incident about the security of lives in this country and it calls for a very serious sober reflection.

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.

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