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Somalia issues bounties for 11 Al-Shabaab chiefs

A file photo taken on March 5, 2012 shows Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab recruits walking down a street in the Deniile district of the Somalian capital, Mogadishu, following their graduation. FILE PHOTO | AFP

Al-Shabaab recruits walk down a street in Deniile District of the Somalia capital, Mogadishu, following their graduation, on March 5, 2012. Somalia’s government on April 10, 2015 has issued bounties for 11 top leaders of the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab militants. FILE PHOTO | AFP

MOGADISHU

Somalia’s government has issued bounties for 11 top leaders of the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab militants, with $250,000 offered for the extremists’ chief, Ahmad Umar.

Other rewards include $150,000 for the capture of Mahad Karate who runs the Amniyat, a special internal security wing that deals in intelligence and assassinations.

Al-Shabaab is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s internationally-backed government, but have also carried out a string of revenge attacks in neighbouring nations, including Kenya, where the extremists massacred 148 people last week in Garissa university.

STRING OF SETBACKS

Umar, also known as Abu Ubaidah, has led the movement since Ahmed Abdi Godane was killed by a US air strike in September.

The militant group has suffered a string of setbacks, losing territory in battles with regional forces and top leaders to drone missile strikes.

Rewards of $100,000 are offered for the capture of nine others, including Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage.

Other nations have also issued rewards for information on Al-Shabaab commanders, with Washington offering cash rewards of up to $5 million including for three commanders.

Kenya has offered $215,000 for alleged Al-Shabaab commander Mohamed Mohamud, a former Kenyan teacher believed to now be in Somalia and said to be the mastermind behind the Garissa attack.

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