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Three suspected jihadist recruiters shot dead in Rwanda

Saturday August 20 2016

A map of Bugarama sector of Rusizi district in

A map of Bugarama sector of Rusizi district in Rwanda where three people suspected to be juhadist recruiters were shot dead on August 19, 2016. GRAPHIC | GOOGLE MAP 

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Three suspected jihadist recruiters were shot dead by police on Friday in southwest Rwanda while resisting arrest, a police statement said.

Police said that during a targeted police operation in the Bugarama sector of Rusizi district to arrest the suspects "they turned violent, issued threats and attempted to flee".

Three other suspects were arrested, one of whom was wounded.

"Initial findings indicate that they were in a radicalisation campaign aimed at recruiting jihadists," the statement said.

"Radicalisation materials including audio CDs and text books were seized from the house."


On Thursday police said a "suspected terrorist" had been shot dead in Kigali during a three-hour shoot-out with officers.

A short police statement said the armed man had been holed up in a house in a residential area in the capital. It gave no details on what group he allegedly belonged to.

In January police shot dead a Muslim suspected of recruiting young people to join the Islamic State group in Syria when he reportedly tried to escape after being detained.

Police said at the time that "terrorist networks" were being set up in Rwanda and made a number of arrests.

Of those held, 23 are awaiting trial following a series of detention hearings, all of them held behind closed doors.

Rwanda's Muslim community is tiny, representing two per cent of the population, with Catholics accounting for 43.7 per cent and Protestants for 37.7 per cent.

The country has never seen a jihadist attack but has been targeted in the past by grenade attacks, the latest in 2013. Those attacks were blamed by the authorities on rebels based in neighbouring Congo.