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US Drops Reward Offer for Former al-Shabab Leader

FILE - Mukhtar Robow, then a leader of the Somali militant group al-Shabab, is seen at a news conference at a farm in southern Mogadishu's Afgoye district in Somalia, May 11, 2011.

The U.S. State Department has withdrawn its reward offer for Mukhtar Robow, a former leader of the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

In June 2012, the State Department offered up to $5 million for information on Robow that brought him "to justice." At the time, Robow was still considered a top leader of al-Shabab, having served periods as its spokesman, spiritual leader and military commander.

But soon afterward, Robow exiled himself from the group because of long-running disputes with its emir, Ahmed Abdi Godane. He spent recent years living in his hometown of Abal, south of Huddur, in Somalia's Bakool region.

Robow has his own militias from his own clan in the area.

Godane was killed by a U.S. missile strike in 2014.

VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching and Harun Maruf of VOA's Somali service contributed to this report.