January 30, 2016 / 12:16 PM / 2 years ago

Rwandan police arrest suspects believed tied to the Islamic State

KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwandan police have arrested several people suspected of being linked to Islamic State, less than a week after the police killed a preacher accused of encouraging youths to join the militant group.

Police declined to say exactly how many people were arrested but said at least some of the suspects they had been pursuing had fled the country.

On Monday, police detained Muhammad Mugemangango, the deputy imam at Kigali’s Kimironko Mosque, and accused him of recruiting for the Islamic State, which is fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Mugemangango was shot and killed while attempting to escape, police said.

In a news conference on Saturday, police said that evidence obtained after Mugemangango’s detention had led them to identify several other suspects. The group’s aim had been to recruit new Islamic State members, the police said.

They also seized jihadist preaching materials such as books, CDs and social network messages.

After news of Mugemangango’s death broke, the country’s main Muslim association, Rwanda Muslims, said it planned to circulate messages condemning radicalization to all of Rwanda’s mosques.

Most Rwandans are Christian. Muslims account for about 2.5 percent of population.

Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana, Editing by Edith Honan and Angus MacSwan

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