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US places N2.5bn bounty on Boko Haram leader, Shekau

Former B’Haram commander claims he holds the key to Shekau’s surrender

The United States Department of State has offered a reward of up to $7million (N2.5billion) for information leading to the arrest of the leader of Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau.

Shekau took over as leader of the terror group shortly after the killing of the group’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf, in September 2009.

The Boko Haram leader had last month warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to visit Borno State again following the massacre of stranded travelers at a motor park in Auno Town.

The terror group has killed tens of thousands and displaced 2.3 million from their homes since it declared its intention to establish an Islamic caliphate in Northern Nigeria.

Read also: Israel to help Nigeria tackle Boko Haram insurgency

The group past had in the past carried out suicide bombings of police buildings and the United Nations office in Abuja.

Of the 2.3 million people displaced by the conflict since May 2013, at least 250,000 have left Nigeria and fled into Cameroon, Chad or Niger.

The group gained global attention following the abduction of over 100 schoolgirls at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State in April 2014 and the kidnapping of some schoolgirls from Dapchi in Yobe State two years later.

The Rewards for Justice Program, which is the counterterrorism rewards program of the US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, announced the offer in a tweet on its official Twitter handle – @Rewards4Justice – on Tuesday.

The tweet read: “The United States Department of State offers a reward up to $7m for information leading to the arrest of the terrorist, Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.”

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