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Nigeria cancels planned resumption of train services

Ishaq Khalid BBC News, Abuja

The Nigerian government has cancelled the resumption of train services between the capital Abuja and the northern city of Kaduna earlier scheduled for Monday.

The services were suspended in March after gunmen blew up the railway with an explosive device, forcing a train carrying hundreds of passengers to stop.

They then opened fire, killing at least nine people and kidnapping more than 60 others who are still in captivity.

It’s not yet clear why the resumption of the services has been postponed indefinitely.

Families of the hostages had been angered by the planned resumption saying the decision was a sign of insensitivity by the authorities.

The families also blamed the authorities for not doing enough to rescue their relatives from the kidnappers.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation, the agency in charge of rail services, has in a statement appealed to the families of the abducted people to be patient and co-operate with the authorities trying to ensure the safe release of their loved ones.

It has also apologised to train passengers for the further delay saying a new resumption date will be announced “soonest”.

The authorities had said repairs on the damaged rail track were completed and was ready for train movement.

The road between Abuja and Kaduna is considered one of the most dangerous in Nigeria as armed gangs kidnapping people for ransom frequently target travellers.

Many people prefer to travel by train although it has also been targeted at least twice.

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