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US Offers $10 Million Reward for Information on Hezbollah Finances

FILE - Hezbollah fighters parade in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Nov. 12, 2010.

The United States is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information that disrupts the finances of Lebanon's Hezbollah militant organization.

The U.S. State Department announced the award Monday, saying it would be paid to those who give information about major Hezbollah donors and financiers as well as businesses that support the organization and banks that facilitate the group's transactions.

The payments will be made by the State Department's Rewards for Justice program, which until now has focused on offering cash rewards for information that leads to the capture of wanted terrorists.

Hezbollah was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department in 1997.

The Shi'ite group, backed by Iran, has recently been increasing its influence on Lebanon's government. It has also been growing its regional clout, including sending fighters to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad.

The State Department said its Rewards for Justice program has paid more than $150 million to more than 100 people for giving information that helped brings terrorists to justice or prevented acts of terrorism. The program began in 1984.