at least 42 women have been abducted by Islamic extremist rebels during an attack in the Nigerian state of Borno, northeast of the country, local sources reported on Wednesday to The Associated Press.
The rebels attacked the women while they were collecting firewood in the district of Jere, in Borno, which is the epicenter of a 14-year insurgency launched by the extremist group known as Boko Haram, according to a member of the local security group Civilian Joint Task Force who identified himself as Abba.
Locals also said the victims came from a camp for internally displaced persons from the neighboring district of Mafa and that they had been selling firewood to increase their income as the economic difficulties in nigeria under the new president.
Kachalla Maidugu, government spokesman in the district, confirmed the incident, which occurred on Tuesday but was not reported until late Wednesday. “Yesterday we received information that 46 women had been kidnapped, but only four were allowed to return home, while 42 were held,” Maidugu said.
He also said that the rebels had demanded a ransom of 50,000 naira (55 dollars) for each woman, although the locals were negotiating smaller amounts of money to pay for the women’s freedom.