Kano - Nigeria's military on Friday offered hundreds
of thousands of dollars in rewards for information leading to the
capture of leaders of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.
statement listed 19 alleged senior members of the extremist group blamed
for hundreds of deaths in connection with its insurgency in northern
and central Nigeria.
The rewards ranged from 50 million naira
($317 000) for the suspected leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau, to 10
million naira for various Boko Haram "commanders".
wanted in connection with terrorist activities particularly in the
northeast zone of Nigeria that led to the killings, bombings and
assassination of some civilians, religious leaders, traditional rulers,
businessmen, politicians, civil servants and security personnel amongst
others," a military statement said.
"They are also wanted for arson and destruction of properties worth millions of naira."
June, the United States designated three Nigerian Islamist extremists
"global terrorists" but declined to label Boko Haram a terrorist group,
citing its domestic focus, among other issues.
The three named by
the US state department were Shekau as well as Abubakar Adam Kambar and
Khalid al-Barnawi, both said to have ties to a regional al-Qaeda group.
Friday's statement offering rewards listed both Shekau and al-Barnawi, but not Kambar.
Colonel Sagir Musa, who issued the statement on behalf of a military
task force operating in the country's northeast, did not respond to
Violence linked to Boko Haram's insurgency is
believed to have left about 3 000 people dead since 2009, including
killings by the security forces.
The group has claimed to be
seeking an Islamist state in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and
largest oil producer whose population is roughly divided between
Christians and Muslims.
However, its demands have repeatedly
shifted and it is believed to include various factions with differing
aims, in addition to imitators and criminal gangs that carry out
violence while posing as members of the group.