Insecurity has been a major concern in Nigeria for over a decade now. Starting from the dreaded Boko Haram group and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) unleashing terror in the North East to banditry and kidnapping in the North West and violent attacks by Indigenous People of Biafra in the South, Nigeria has been a roller coaster of security threats.
The activities of this groups have not only claimed hundreds of lives and displaced thousands of locals, but have also left many children orphaned and hundreds kidnapped.
While attacks on road have become commonplace, the recent terrors unleashed on rail and air transport systems – considered as safer transportation means – have raised more concerns over the security situation of the country.
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The most recent of such nefarious activities was the Monday bombing of the Abuja-Kaduna train, where nine persons were reportedly killed and several others injured or kidnapped.
The incident was among the 10 major attacks on rail transportation across the world, according to internet sources.
Moscow metro bombing
On March 29 2010, the Moscow suicide bombings were carried out by two Islamic female terrorists at two stations of the Moscow Metro (Lubyanka and Park Kultury), with roughly 40 minutes in between.
The first explosion by a woman occurred on the Red Arrow – 75 years train at the Lubyanka station at approximately 7:56 am local time (03:56 UTC). The train started from Yugo-Zapadnaya, and stopped at Lubyanka station. Once the train doors opened, explosives worn by a woman standing at the second carriage’s second exit detonated. The explosive had a force of up to 1.5 kg of trinitrotoluene (TNT).
A second explosion at the Park Kultury station followed at approximately 8:38 am, caused by another female, who at the time of the first explosion was riding another train from Yugo-Zapadnaya towards Ulitsa Podbelskogo station in the same direction as the first train.
At least 40 people were killed, and over 100 injured from both incidents.
Gyaneshwari Express derailment
On 28 May 2010, a Jnaneshwari Express train derailed at about 1am in the West Midnapore district of West Bengal, India (between the Sardiha and Khemasuli railway stations near Jhargram).
It was disputed as to whether sabotage or a bomb caused damage on the railway track, which in turn led to the derailment, before an oncoming goods train hit the loose carriages and resulted in the deaths of at least 148 passengers with over 200 injured.
Minsk Metro bombing
On April 11 2011, the Minsk Metro bombing took place at the central Kastryčnickaja station at 17:55 local time.
The cause of the explosion was initially unclear but was later discovered to have been a bomb. The prosecution office launched a criminal investigation and classified the event as a terrorist attack. Two suspects were arrested on April 13 and confessed to the bombing but the motives remained unclear.
The incident led to the death of 15 people while 204 sustained various injuries.
Chennai train bombing
In the early hours of May 1 2014, the Chennai train bombing occurred at the Chennai central railway station, India.
The Bangalore – Guwahati Kaziranga Superfast Express which came from Bangalore and was going towards Guwahati – was standing on platform 09 of Chennai Central railway station when two blasts occurred in two coaches, S4 and S5.
The bombing killed one female passenger and injured at least 14 others.
Istanbul metro bombing
On 1 December 2015, a bombing caused by a pipe bomb occurred at around 17:15 near Bayrampaşa—Maltepe station in Bayrampaşa, Istanbul on the Istanbul Metro, Turkey. The explosion led to five non-fatal injuries.
On March 22 2016, three coordinated terrorist attacks took place in Brussels and Belgium tagged the ‘Brussels bombings.’
Two of the coordinated suicide bombings occurred at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, and one at Maalbeek metro station on the Brussels metro.
Thirty-two civilians and three perpetrators were killed, and more than 300 people were injured.
Another bomb was found during a search of the airport. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Würzburg train attack
On 18 July 2016, Riaz Khan Ahmadzai, a 17-year-old refugee from Afghanistan, stabbed and injured five people on and outside a train near Würzburg, Germany.
The perpetrator was located by the police about 500 m (1,600 ft) from the train. The attacker tried to flee and was shot dead by the SEK police tactical unit after they confronted him and he tried to attack them with the hatchet.
Five people were wounded in the attack. Four were members from the same family: a woman, her boyfriend and her parents, and were all tourists from Hong Kong. A fifth victim, attacked outside the train, was a local German woman while 14 witnesses were treated for shock.
Saint Petersburg Metro bombing
On 3 April 2017, a terrorist attack using an explosive device took place on the Saint Petersburg Metro between Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Institut stations. Seven people (including the perpetrator) were initially reported to have died, and eight more died later from their injuries, bringing the total to 15.
Parsons Green train bombing
On 15 September 2017, at around 08:20 BST, an explosion occurred on a District line train at Parsons Green Underground station, in London, England.
Thirty people sustained injuries and were were treated in hospital mostly for burn injuries, by a botched, crude “bucket bomb” with a timer containing the explosive chemical TATP.
Police arrested the main suspect, 18-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker Ahmed Hassan, in a departure area of the Port of Dover the next day, and subsequently raided several addresses, including the foster home of an elderly couple in Sunbury-on-Thames where Hassan lived.
Abuja-Kaduna train bombing
On Monday March 28, 2022, a passenger train left Abuja, the Nigeria’s capital, at about 6pm on before it was attacked between Katari and Rijana communities in Kaduna State around 7.45pm.
The Kaduna-bound train was forced to a halt by terrorists who planted bombs on the tracks.
Witnesses said the attackers later surrounded most of the coaches and opened fire before they forcefully gained access and fired at random, leading to many deaths.
Nine people have been reported dead so far with dozens still missing.
This unfortunate incident has thrown the country into mourning as the rail transport system which was considered the ‘safest’ due has now turned to a nightmare.