Gunmen killed at least 15 people and abducted several others on the Abuja-Kaduna highway on Sunday evening.
Witnesses said the incident took place near the village of Gidan Busa near Rijana, 133 kilometres from Abuja, around 5 pm Daily Trust reports.
One eyewitness said, “The two buses and a wagon in the front were the first to be attacked. They opened fire on them. The first one moved unsteadily from side to side before it stopped.”
At least 20 vehicles fell into the hands of gunmen who ambushed them at the exact spot where the road was damaged near the village.
Witnesses confirmed that there was no sign of security forces in the area when the kidnappers attacked.
According to the eyewitness, in addition to the 15 people killed, several others were abducted, including women and children.
How the attack happened
Witness told Daily Trust that the kidnappers were armed with assault rifles and were firing on vehicles heading to Abuja from Kaduna.
The gunmen blocked the road and opened fire, forcing the vehicles to stop and shooting some of the passengers who tried to escape.
“The first vehicle to be attacked was an 18-seater bus, which was fully loaded,” Mamman, a witness on his way to Katsina from Abuja, told the news platform.
“I am one of the survivors; I saw everything that happened and I helped to remove the bodies from the road,” said Maman.
He said a bullet struck the driver of the Hummer bus, killing him instantly and causing it to wobble for seconds before stopping across the road.
“There were three vehicles in front of us when we saw the kidnappers suddenly came out on the road and started firing indiscriminately.
“Two buses and a wagon in front of us were attacked. They opened fire on them. The first one moved unsteadily from side to side before it stopped.
“The second hummer bus and a saloon car were also affected. Our vehicle, a Volkswagen Golf car was the fourth in the line facing the gunmen and when our driver noticed what was happening, he veered off the road,” said Mamman.
He said, “The cars coming later, I think will reach 20 they have to stop; Several passengers in riot gear, including some in our car, escaped.
“I didn’t run away and I don’t know why; I only moved closer to the median of the road and squad. I saw when the attackers shepherded some of those kidnapped into the bush,” he said. Mamman said after some time, the police arrived at the scene.
“Some police officers came to our rescue and I assisted in locating the victims and the injured.
“The vehicles that blocked the road were cleared by the police and some good Samaritans and that was when people started moving. I dropped on the way to Abuja because I was heading towards Bwari,” he said.
A local resident, Mallam Mu’azu, also confirmed to the news platform that the attack took place on the Abuja-Kaduna highway.
“I was not at the scene of the attack but someone I know who went through said he saw what happened.
“This road (Abuja-Kaduna) is once again dangerous. There was a respite some months ago when security operatives took serious action against the kidnappers but it seems they have gone to sleep again.
“The whole Jere area, about 70 kilometres from Abuja, is insecure; “People are now ambushing people from Kurmin Kare, Gidan Malam Mamman to Rijana,” he said.
Along the way, there is a large security post in Katari village, 92 kilometres from Abuja.
Security forces including anti-kidnappers, police, army, Civil Defense and others have been deployed in the Katari area.
They set up camp to respond whenever the need arises.
Residents of the area stressed the need to re-examine the return of the kidnappers on the road that connects Southern Nigeria with Abuja, North West and North East.
Hundreds of people have been killed along the Kaduna-Abuja express while families of those held hostage have been forced to pay huge ransoms to save them from their captors.
Source: Naija News