11 March 2003

Nigeria: Bandits Attack Bus, Kill 17 Passengers

Abuja — BANDITS, Sunday, shot dead 17 bus passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway. Twenty other passengers were confirmed dead while 50 received injuries in a motor accident on the Potiskum-Maiduguri Road, weekend.

The victims of the bandit attacks were travelling in two separate buses on Sunday when they were ambushed about midway between the two cities at Katari Village, 90 kilometres North of Abuja, Sunday Abayomi, a survivor said. The corpses were taken to a mortuary in Kaduna.

The gang stood on the highway and flagged down the buses but the drivers, realising that they were robbers, refused to stop, Abayomi said. They opened fire on the buses from the rear and 17 of the passengers were killed in the shooting. There has recently been an upsurge in armed attacks on inter-city buses across the country.

l20 die in road crash

Meanwhile, about 20 persons were confirmed dead, while over 50 others sustained injuries in a ghastly motor accident, which occurred at the weekend along the Potiskum-Maiduguri Road.

Eye-witnesses said the accident, which involved a trailer with plate number XB 135 MAG, occurred a few kilometres to Potiskum, when the vehicle ran into a barricade mounted by bandits. The driver of the trailer had attempted to avoid an abandoned wreckage of a car, which the bandits had used to block the road when it veered off and crashed.

It was gathered that the trailer, which was loaded with about 30 tonnes of sugar from Lagos, was also over-loaded with passengers, believed to be Chadians heading for the border in Borno State.

Commenting on the accident, the FRSC Sector Commander at Potiskum, Mr. David Gayya, attributed the accident to refusal to obey traffic rules and regulations by the driver.

He frowned at the way and manner in which some drivers used vehicles meant for goods only to convey passengers. Majority of those, who sustained injuries were taken to the Potiskum General Hospital as well as some private clinics in the area.

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