Soldiers rescued 43 cattle farmers abducted by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria, an army spokesman said Monday.
Eight Boko Haram fighters abducted the farmers and about 500 cows at gunpoint in the Mafa local government area in Borno State, according to spokesman Colonel Sani Usman.
The military pursued the terrorists and managed to rescue all hostages several hours after the abduction, Usman said.
Boko Haram poses a steady threat to communities in the north-east of Nigeria and has also launched offensives in neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon. The group's goal is to enforce a strict interpretation of Islamic law, known as sharia. Since 2009, at least 14,000 people have died at the hands of the Sunni fundamentalists in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. According to the United Nations, an estimated 2.7 million people in the region have fled their homes due to Boko Haram.
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