Boko Haram militants may have worked in partnership with Nigeria’s notorious kidnapping gangs to attack a busy passenger train earlier this week, Kaduna state’s governor has said.
At least eight passengers were killed and several others were abducted for ransom in the audacious attack on the high-speed rail link between the capital, Abuja, and the northern city of Kaduna on Monday.
The various factions of the Islamist Boko Haram group mainly operate in the north-east of the country and the kidnapping gangs in the north-west.
But Nasir el-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state, said the authorities had received intelligence reports that the attack would be carried out with the Islamist insurgents teaming up with the kidnappers.
They blew up the rail track using guns and explosive devices.
The governor said an operation was under way to rescue those who were abducted but he ruled out any payment of ransoms.
The army has been battling the Islamist insurgency in the north-east for 13 years – and in the last few years has failed to stop the sophisticated criminal networks that run huge money-making kidnapping operations.