Kigali - An imam accused of seeking to recruit young men to join the Islamic State group was shot dead in the Rwandan capital Saturday night while trying to escape from a police escort, police said in a statement Monday.
Muhammad Mugemangango, deputy imam of the Kimiromko mosque in the capital Kigali, was shot dead as he sought to escape police custody during an escorted visit to his home, they said.
"He was under investigations for mentoring Rwandan youths into Jihad and recruiting them to join Islamic State in Syria," the police statement said.
Police said Mugemangango had been detained "on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities" but tried to run away after he accompanied police to his home to conduct a search.
On the way back, he jumped off the vehicle and was shot, they said.
Rwanda's Muslim community is tiny - accounting for just two percent of the population - and maintains a low profile. There is no history of radicalisation and no known cases of Rwandans joining ISIS.
However, the police statement said it believed the "formation of terror networks" was underway.
It gave no further details except to add that, "we will do our best to unmask the network and deal with them in accordance with the law."