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Rwandan police kill man described as terrorism suspect after shootout

KIGALI (Reuters) - A Rwandan man described as a "terror suspect" was shot dead in the capital Kigali late on Wednesday after a three-hour shootout with police, a police statement said.

The suspect, identified as Channy Mbonigaba, barricaded himself in a house and injured one police officer during the battle in the Nyarutaramahe district, police said.

They said that, since last year, the Rwandan National Police had been investigating "individuals suspected of being radicalized and linked to foreign terrorist organizations", and that several had appeared in court, but gave no details of the organizations involved.

In January, police said they had killed a Muslim imam as he attempted to escape police custody while under investigation for encouraging young Rwandans to join the jihadist militant group Islamic State.


Subsequently, 23 men and women were arrested on suspicion of links to the preacher. Last week, a high court in Kigali granted police more time to keep them in detention.

Only about 2.5 percent of Rwanda's 11 million people are Muslim, the rest mostly Christian.

(Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; Writing by Aaron Maasho; Editing by Kevin Liffey)