Authorities of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) and Kaduna State Railway Police Command, yesterday, confirmed the attack on an Abuja-Kaduna Train Service (AKTS).
The train, which left Rigasa train station in Kaduna, at around 10 a.m. was attacked a few kilometres to Katari, about 70 kilometres to Abuja.
But contrary to rumour that that attack was masterminded by gunmen, they explained that some herdsmen threw stones at the train around Katari, Kaduna State, adding that their actions may not be unconnected to the killing of six of their cows by a train last week.
“This news is not correct. What happened according to the police escorts on the train is that a stone was thrown at the train by some boys, which affected only the window glass of coach SP4.
Reacting to the report, Mr Fidet Okhiria, Managing Director of NRC, refuted claims that the train conveying passengers to Abuja from Kaduna was attacked by suspected gunmen.
“This news (that the train was attacked by suspected gunmen) is not correct. What happened according to the police escorts on the train is that a stone was thrown at the train by some boys, which affected only the window glass of coach SP4.
“Nigerians should not panic as the news of the suspected attack is false and NRC is doing everything possible to ensure safety of passengers,” Okhiria said.
Amadi, said the police has enough personnel on board the trains that are capable of resisting any attack by criminal group.
Commissioner of Police in charge of Kaduna State Railway Command, Mr John Amadi, in a telephone interview with our correspondent said: “You know people like to spread rumours when there is none . Today an Abuja bound train from Kaduna, on getting to a point between Rijana and Dutse, these herdsmen from no where started throwing stones at the train.
“You know the train moves on a fast speed so when they started throwing the stones, it it the body of the train and of course made noises as a result of the impact. And when the passengers started hearing the sounds of the stones in the train especially the civilians amongst them raised their heads to find out what was happening and concluded it was attack by gunmen.
But our men who were on board discovered it was herdsmen throwing stones at the train and they may probably must have been influenced by what happened about one week ago when a train killed about six of their cows.
“So there was nothing like firing. If there was firing you will see the bullet homes because the train is not armour coated alright. So the train just had cracks in the glass of the two coaches, so there is nothing like armed men attacking the train because if it were to be true, those two coaches have enough armed men that would have replied fire.
“But we cannot open fire on people that are not armed, that is what the story is all about.
“Except somebody wants to take it upon himself to tell Nigerians false stories in other to sell their papers, but what I have told you is nothing but the truth.
“People can go and verify what I have told you because they don’t pack trains in the bedroom, they are parked openly for all to see, so people can go and see for themselves if there are bullet holes on any of the trains as it is being alleged.”