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US Offers Rewards For West African Terror Suspects

The United States is for the first time offering rewards to help track down terror suspects in West Africa.

The State Department Monday offered $23 million in rewards for information on the whereabouts of five top militants in the region.

Its highest reward, of up to $7 million, is for the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau. The group is based in Nigeria and has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks in the country, including the 2011 bombing of a U.N. facility in Abuja.

Also on the list is Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who claimed responsibility for the attack earlier this year on an Algerian gas plant. Belmokhtar is the leader of the Signed-in-Blood Battalion, and a previous leader of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

Two other members of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb also are being targeted by the rewards program, as well as another former member of the group who is now the spokesperson for the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa.

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