Three passengers of the Kaduna-bound train that was attacked in March have regained freedom.
They were freed 24 hours after terrorists released a disturbing video where the victims were seen being flogged.
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Daily Trust confirmed that the released passengers, a female and two males, have reunited with their family members.
It is not clear if any ransom was paid before their release.
Commenting on their release, Kaduna-based Publisher, Tukur Mamu, said, “Yes three victims have been released, a female and two male. But remember I’m not part of the negotiation that led to their freedom.”
Mamu had announced withdrawal from the negotiation, citing threat to his life.
Daily Trust reports that since the attack, four months ago in which 60 passengers were abducted, at least 20 of the victims have been released in batches after they each paid a ransom of N100m while over 40 victims are still in captivity.
A source told this newspaper that the beating of victims by terrorists was triggered by anger over the blockade of a ransom in exchange for some of the captives.
A victim filmed in the video clip, Mukhtar Shuaibu, confirmed the terrorists’ disenchantment over the blockade of the ransom.
“We don’t know what offence we have committed to the government of this country. We were born in this country. We have been here for 120 days, yet the government has been unable to rescue us. What is our offence to this country? Some of us were to be released recently but security agents blocked the access and refused to let our relatives come for us,” he said.
Speaking with one of our correspondents, a source whose younger brother is in captivity said as promised earlier, the terrorists had begun negotiating directly with relatives and had agreed to release some of the captives, especially one of them who is said to be ill.
“Some of the relatives had approached the meeting point when they came in contact with some soldiers who blocked access to the forests and even threatened to arrest them,” he said.
He further stated that the soldiers had warned that payment of ransom was illegal and threatened to arrest them. “This is what triggered the latest video by the terrorists, this is why they flogged them to send a message and also threatened to abduct top government officials,” he said.