Nigeria Train Attackers Release Hostage Video of Missing Passengers

Gunmen who attacked a train in Nigeria have released a hostage video of a bank executive among an unspecified number of passengers kidnapped during the incident. 

The hostage video showed four armed masked men in military uniform facing the camera while flanking Alwan Ali-Hassan, the director of Nigeria’s Bank of Agriculture.

The hostage video shot is from an undisclosed forest area with an armored vehicle in the background.

In the hostage video, one of the men called on authorities to meet the captors’ demands to guarantee the release of other hostages also in a dire situation.

The video’s authenticity is not verified, but family members confirmed that it was Ali-Hassan in the video.

No specific group has claimed responsibility for the hostage video.

The armed men did not claim affiliations to any group. But, the recording resembles propaganda videos sent by armed groups waging more than a 12-year rebellion to establish an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria.

The opening prayer in Arabic from one of the masked men is the same as in the previous propaganda videos released by Boko Haram and the Islamic West Africa Province (ISWAP). The positioning of the gunmen with the hostage is also distinct from those videos.

In the hostage video, the speaker said they decided to release the hostage out of compassion as a ‘Ramadan gesture’, referring to the Muslim holy month of fasting and his old age.

While the speaker in the hostage video claimed that no ransom was paid for Ali-Hassan’s release, family sources said that they had to pay money to the captors.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) said that the whereabouts of 168 reportedly missing passengers are still unknown one week after the train attack.

However, it is unclear how many missing passengers may have returned home and not contacted officials.

The gunmen released Ali-Hassan on Wednesday.


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