At least 42 women were abducted by Islamic extremist rebels during an attack in Borno state, Nigeria.

The attack occurred as the women were gathering firewood in the Jere district of Borno.

The victims were from an internally displaced persons camp in the Mafa district, selling firewood to supplement their income.

A member of the local security group, Abba, confirmed the attack, linking it to the ongoing insurgency by Boko Haram.

Kachalla Maidugu, a government spokesman, confirmed the incident and stated that 46 women were initially abducted, with 4 allowed to return and 42 still held captive.

The rebels demanded a ransom of 50,000 naira ($55) per woman for their release; negotiations for lower amounts were ongoing.

The abduction followed an ambush by extremists on security forces protecting local farmers in the same area.

Boko Haram, a homegrown jihadi rebel group, launched an insurgency in 2009 to oppose western education and establish Islamic Shariah law in Nigeria.

The insurgency has led to the death of at least 35,000 people and displacement of 2.1 million, as reported by U.N. agencies in Nigeria.

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