Military frees abducted women and children in Burkina Faso

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Soldiers rescued a group of 62 women and four babies abducted by suspected jihadists last week in northern Burkina Faso, state television and a security source said Friday.

In its main evening news bulletin, Burkina Faso‘s RTB channel, referring to an army “operation”, showed images of the women freed on Friday and brought to the capital Ouagadougou.

Several security sources confirmed the news to AFP.

The women and babies were abducted last week on Thursday and Friday near Arbinda, in the northern Sahel region, as they foraged for food outside their village.

>> Islamist militants kidnap at least 50 women in northern Burkina Faso

Security sources said they were found in the Tougouri region, 200 kilometres (125 miles) further south. Helicopters flew them to Ouagadougou, where they were met by senior army officers. 

“Their debriefing will allow us to know more about their abductors, their detention and their convoy,” said one security source.

The authorities had mobilised search teams both on the ground and in the air to trace the women.

Parts of Burkina Faso, including the Sahel region, have for months been under a blockade by jihadist groups in the region, making it increasingly difficult to supply the communities there.

The resulting shortages forced local people to leave the safety of their villages to search for food.


News of the women’s return came as security sources reported a series of four suspected jihadist attacks Thursday that killed around 30 people in a civilian auxiliary supporting the army.

Jihadists from both the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda have been raiding Burkina Faso, particularly the northern half of the country, since 2015.

During that period, their attacks have claimed the lives of thousands and driven at least two million others to flee their homes.


This story originally Appeared on France24


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