Boko Haram has abducted at least 42 women during an attack in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state.
According to the Associated Press, the terrorists struck while the women gathered firewood in the Jere district of Borno, the epicentre of a 14-year-long insurgency launched by the extremist group.
The abduction was revealed by a member of the Civilian Joint Task Force local security group who identified himself as Abba.
Kachalla Maidugu, a government spokesman in the district, confirmed the incident that occurred on Tuesday but was only reported late Wednesday. “We received information yesterday that 46 women were abducted, but only four were allowed to return home while 42 were held back,” said Maidugu.
He also said the rebels demanded a ransom of N50,000 for each woman, though the locals negotiated for less money to pay for the women’s freedom.
The latest abduction by the extremists occurred hours after they had ambushed security forces protecting farmers in the area, according to Abba with the local security group.
Boko Haram launched an insurgency in 2009 to fight against Western education and to establish Islamic Shariah law in Nigeria. At least 35,000 people have been killed and 2.1 million people displaced as a result of the extremist violence, according to data from U.N. agencies in Nigeria.