Dozens of displaced people are feared to have been abducted by Boko Haram jihadists in north-eastern Nigeria.

The victims were mostly women who lived in a camp in Gamboru Ngala town after fleeing their homes because of attacks by the insurgents, locals said.

The abductions occurred when the group went to collect firewood to cook or sell, they added.

The United Nations condemned the reported kidnappings and called of for the unconditional release of abductees.

Mohamed Malick Fall, the UN’s Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, said that while the exact number is unknown it is estimated more than 200 people were abducted.

He said in a statement on Wednesday that the incident was “a stark reminder that women and girls are among those most affected” by the Islamist insurgency in north-east Nigeria.

While sympathizing with the families of the victims, Mr Fall urged authorities to provide more livelihood opportunities for displaced persons in camps to reduce the risks they face.

The largest mass abduction by Boko Haram occurred when more than 270 schoolgirls were seized from their dormitory in Chibok town, also in north-eastern Borno state, in 2014.

The latest abductions took place several days ago, but details are only emerging now because Gamboru Ngala is in a remote area, on the shores of Lake Chad, where the jihadists have destroyed mobile phone masts and other telecommunication infrastructure. Local residents sometimes cross to neighbouring Cameroon to make phone calls.


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