Middle East

Iraq offers $17,200 reward for killing jihadists

Militants on patrol in Fallujah (12 February 2014) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption ISIS and its allies have controlled parts of the city of Fallujah for more than a month

Iraq's government has offered a reward of $17,200 (£10,300) for each foreign militant killed from al-Qaeda or the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a former affiliate.

A larger reward of $25,800 (£15,500) is being offered for the capture of militants belonging to the two groups.

The announcement was made on the website of the ministry of defence.

Al-Qaeda and ISIS have been blamed by the authorities for the surge in sectarian violence over the past year.

Iraqi government data says more than 1,000 people were killed in January.

At the end of December, ISIS and its allies seized control of parts of Fallujah and Ramadi, two cities in the predominantly Sunni western province of Anbar.

While security forces backed by pro-government tribesmen have made progress in retaking areas of Ramadi, they have not launched an offensive on Fallujah, instead asking locals to get the militants to leave.

Last week, the UN said 300,000 people had been displaced by the fighting in Anbar, the highest number since the peak of the sectarian insurgency from 2006 to 2008.

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