Suspected jihadists have kidnapped nearly 60 women in the West African country of Burkina Faso, according to victims who managed to escape.

About 40 of the women were taken Thursday and up to 20 others were snatched Friday, sources told Agence France-Presse.

“The women got together to go and gather leaves and wild fruits in the bush because there is nothing left to eat,” one resident told AFP.

Internally displaced people wait for aid in Djibo, Burkina Faso, on May 26, 2022. More than 25,000 people will face starvation in conflict-plagued parts of West Africa next year, a United Nations official warned Friday, Dec. 16, 2022.

Limited food supplies had sent them out foraging, since jihadists have blocked key roads.

“On Thursday evening, when they didn’t come back, we thought that their carts had had a problem,” another resident told AFP. “But three survivors came back to tell us what happened. In both groups, some women managed to escape and returned to the village on foot. We believe that the kidnappers took them to their bases.”

Local officials confirmed the abductions, but said authorities have had no luck locating the women.

The landlocked African nation has been in the grip of an insurgency since 2015. Nearly 2 million people have been displaced in the violence, according to BBC News. Last January, the military seized power, but chaos has continued.

With News Wire Services

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