Islamist extremists have cut off the ears of women seized during a night-time raid on a rural town in Cameroon.
On Monday night (29th July), members of terrorist group Boko Haram attacked Gagalari, in Yagoua Diocese, in the Far North region of the country.
According to information from local sources received today (1st August) by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, the terrorists targeted the town’s women.
One source said: “They arrived during the night, entered the houses one by one and kidnapped the women. Only the women.
“They took them to the outskirts and amputated one ear of each of the victims.
“Then they released them threatening them and telling them that they would return, that this is the first [such] intervention, but others will follow. It is terrifying.”
At least three women were seized during the raid.
Following their ordeal, they were taken by the army to a medical centre 160 miles (260 km) away where they received aid.
The source suggested that the women’s ears were cut off in order to terrorise the locals.
According to local news reports, Boko Haram fighters drove away members of the Vigilance Committee who tried to stop them.
The source said “It was no use in this repulsive surprise attack. The women were dragged out of their homes before the eyes of their children.”
The source added that locals were terrified – but had little choice except to remain: “But what are they going to do? They are simple and very poor people who live from agriculture and right now in the rainy season they are waiting for the harvest. Where are they going to go?”
According to reports, in the preceeding days Boko Haram attacked two villages in the area. Three members of a local Vigilance Committee were killed during the raids.