MAIDUGURI, Nigeria - Nigeria's army has offered 290 million naira ($1.8 million) for information leading to the capture of 19 leading members of Islamist sect Boko Haram, whose insurgency has killed hundreds this year.
Boko Haram wants to impose strict sharia - or Islamic law - in the country of 160 million, split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims, and the group has become the biggest security threat to Africa's largest oil producer.
The military Joint Task Force (JTF) in northeast Borno state, the sect's home territory and the focus of its attacks, offered a reward of 50 million naira for the sect's self-proclaimed leader Abubakar Shekau.
It offered 25 million naira for each of the men said by the JTF to be his main commanders: Habibu Yusuk, Khalis Albarnawai, Momodu Bama and Mohammed Zangina, and 10 million naira for 14 other senior members.
"They are wanted in connection with terrorist activities particularly in the north east zone," a statement by the JTF in Maiduguri, Borno's capital, said on Saturday.
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