Gunmen abducted some 50 women in Burkina Faso’s northern province of Soum on January 12 and 13, the government says.
Armed men seized the women as they were picking wild fruit outside the village of Liki, about 15 kilometres (9.32 miles) from the town of Aribinda, and in another district west of the town.
“Searching has started with the aim of finding all these innocent victims safe and sound,” the government statement on Monday said.
According to local officials, the army and its civilian auxiliaries have carried out unsuccessful sweeps of the area.
One of the world’s poorest countries, Burkina Faso has been struggling to contain violent activity by armed groups with links to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) that spread from neighbouring Mali in 2015 despite costly international military efforts to contain it.
Thousands of civilians and members of the security forces have died and some two million people have been displaced, and forced to live in makeshift camps.
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