Military frees abducted women and children in Burkina Faso

© Luc Gnago, Reuters

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.


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