At least five children have been counted as part of the 50 people still held by gunmen who attacked a passenger train near Nigeria's capital, their families said Wednesday as they held a protest demanding more action from authorities to rescue the hostages.
As the families protested the 100 days their relatives have been held captive after the attack in the northwest Kaduna state, the Nigeria police dismissed allegations that "not enough" is being done to rescue the victims who are among the thousands either abducted or killed in the last year as the West African nation faces continued armed violence.
Gunmen in late March attacked the train with explosives and gunfire, killing seven people and abducting dozens of others.
Although no arrest has been made in connection with the attack, police are "still gathering intelligence from locals" to find and rescue the hostages, Kaduna police spokesperson Mohammed Jalige told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which authorities blamed on armed groups who have frequently targeted remote communities in northwest Nigeria with the aid of Islamic extremist rebels.
More than 100 passengers from the train were missing initially, but some were later freed by the kidnappers in conditions not made public. In June, the Nigerian presidency said the Abuja train attackers "made a demand for the release of their own children."
As the families of the hostages protested in Kaduna, asking authorities to "work faster and do more," AbdulFatai Jimoh, chairman of the families' union, said they only have one key demand: "We want them (the government) to work faster on this because the longer our people stay in the bush, the more they are exposed to a lot of danger.