The 11 hostages who were abducted by gunmen who attacked a Kaduna-bound train in March and abducted several passengers have been released.
The release of the hostages was facilitated by a Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, Gumi’s spokesperson, Tukur Mamu, said.
Mamu said the cleric negotiated with the terrorists and suggested a location where the hostages were reunited with their loved ones.
Mr Mamu said:
“After reaching agreements about the release, they (the gunmen) insisted that sheikh Gumi must intervene and identify a location where the captives will be handed over.”
Mr Mamu said the cleric, for several weeks, has been negotiating with the gunmen, which led to the eventual release of the some of the hostages.
He said the captives were handed over to representatives of the cleric at a location at Kidandan forest which had been selected by Mr Gumi.
He said negotiation is ongoing to free the remaining 51 hostages still in captivity.
Mr Mamu identified those released as Jessy John, Amina Mohammed (Gamba), Rashida Busari, Hannah Ajewole, and Amina Jibril.
Others are Najib Daiharu, Gaius Gambo, Hassan Aliyu, Peace Boy and Danjuma Sa’idu.
The gunmen killed a total of nine passengers during the attack. Several others sustained gunshot injuries.
The gunmen had earlier released a couple of hostages after they reportedly paid ransoms to secure their release.