Two Islamist groups declared “terrorist organizations” in Nigeria
ABUJA (05.06.13 ) President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria has declared the Islamist rebel force Boko Haram and splinter group Ansaru to be terrorist organisations, meaning anyone who supports them could be jailed for at least 20 years. The army has been waging an offensive against the militants in their northern strongholds since a state of emergency was declared last month. The activities of both Boko Haram and Ansaru would now fall under the Terrorism Prevention Act, Mr Jonathan's office said. The US said Monday it was offering rewards for information on Islamist militants in West and North Africa. The highest reward of up to $7m US dollars is for information leading to the location of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, the state department said. About 2000 people have been killed since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009, carrying out a wave of bombings and assassinations in north and central Nigeria. Meanwhile, Nigeria's military says it has arrested another 49 members of Boko Haram. The military said Wednesday it captured the suspected militants in the northeastern state of Yobe, one of three states placed under emergency rule as part of a military offensive against the group. More than 150 Boko Haram members have now been captured by the military since it launched the offensive in May.