Suspected terrorists abducted some 50 women in northern Burkina Faso’s Sahel region last week, authorities confirmed on Monday.
The women were taken separately on Jan. 12 and 13 in the Soum province, according to Lt. Col. Rodolphe Sorgho, the region’s governor.
The first group was abducted near a village some 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the town of Arbinda, and the other from a locality to the town’s west, he said in a statement.
“The victims had gone out in search of wild fruits in the bush,” Sorgho said.
The Burkina Faso military has launched search operations, he added.
Arbinda is reportedly facing a food shortage due to blockades by armed insurgents.
Burkina Faso remains plagued by insecurity, with thousands killed and around 2 million people displaced in an insurgency that has spilled over from neighboring Mali over the past decade.
Armed groups active in the country are linked to the al-Qaeda and Daesh/ISIS terrorist organizations.
Political instability is also rife in the West African country, which witnessed two coups within the space of months last year.
Source: Anadolu Agency