Nigerian Train Hostages Used as Human Shields

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has claimed that dozens of passengers seized during a railway raid in northern Nigeria in late March are being used as human shields by their captors.

In a video message posted on Buhari’s Twitter account, he said that the rescue of these victims “requires wisdom, caution and also patience” because of its “delicate situation”.

“They are using civilians as human shields thereby making it difficult to confront them directly. Bandits and terrorists are like professional soldiers. Don’t threaten their rules of engagement. They don’t care about killing their hostages if they come under attack,” Buhari added.

Last March 28, gunmen opened fire on a crowded commuter train heading from Abuja to Kaduna in northern Nigeria, killing at least eight people and injuring more than two dozen more.

The Nigerian leader, in a message, delivered to mark Monday’s Eid al-Fitr celebration, said he had “directed security agencies to ensure quick and safe recovery of all victims of kidnapping” while urging Nigeria’s railway management “to set up a situation room for the coordination of the rescue mission and minute-by-minute engagement with the families of the captives.”

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