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Nigeria train kidnappers using victims as human shields

President Muhammadu Buhari warned on Monday that armed gangs that seized hundreds of passengers in a railway raid in northern Nigeria are using citizens as human shields, making it harder for the military to carry out a rescue attempt. Following the March 28 incident, 168 persons were reported missing by Nigeria's state railway corporation last month. Last Monday, local media broadcast a video of the kidnapping victims, including a baby just born to one of the abducted ladies. The validity of the footage could not be verified by Reuters. Buhari claimed the government was attempting to avoid a "tragic ending" in any rescue mission, after being chastised for not doing enough to save the passengers.

In a statement, he stated, "They (the kidnappers) are utilizing citizens as human shields, making it harder to face them directly." "It's a precarious scenario... Any rescue effort in which a hostage is killed cannot be considered a success." In Nigeria, abductions have become nearly regular occurrences, with armed gangs kidnapping individuals for ransom and hiding in jungles. The assaults' brutality has heightened security concerns in a country that is currently dealing with an insurgency in the northeast and growing crime across the board.


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Buhari Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria Reuters


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