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Ekeomah Atuonwu

Gunmen who attacked a train in northwest Nigeria, killing at least eight people, have released a video of a bank executive who was one of the unspecified number of passengers kidnapped.

The attack on the train between Abuja and Kaduna last week marked a significant increase in violence in northwest Nigeria, which has been blamed on heavily armed criminal gangs known locally as bandits.

The video, which was uploaded on social media, shows Alwan Ali-Hassan, the director of Nigeria’s Bank of Agriculture, flanked by four armed masked men in military uniforms facing the camera.

In it, they urged the authorities to meet his captors’ demands in order to secure the release of other hostages who are “in a dire situation.”

AEM could not independently verify the video’s authenticity, but family members confirmed Ali-Hassan was in it and that he was released by the gunmen on Wednesday.

Alwan Hassan MD of Nigeria’s Bank of Agriculture /Google/

The speaker in the video stated that they decided to release the hostage out of compassion as a “Ramadan gesture,” referring to the Muslim holy month of fasting, and because of his “advanced age.”

The whereabouts of 168 passengers are still unknown one week after the train attack, according to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), though it is unclear how many may have returned home and not contacted officials.

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Suspected bandits attack a passenger train traveling from Abuja to Kaduna in Nothern Nigeria

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Ekeomah Atuonwu

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