Rwanda arrests 13 suspected of plotting ‘terrorist’ attacks

Filed on October 2, 2021
Representational image - Reuters

Police arrest suspects with bomb-making materials, including explosives, wires, nails and phones

Rwandan police said on Friday they had arrested 13 people suspected of plotting “terrorist” attacks in the capital Kigali and paraded them before the media.

The suspects were arrested with bomb-making materials including explosives, wires, nails and phones, Rwandan National Police said in a statement.

“Investigations have revealed that the terror cell worked with Allied Democratic Forces (ADF),” it said, referring to a suspected militant group active in the east of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The feared ADF, historically a Ugandan rebel group, has been accused of killing thousands of civilians in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some of its attacks have been claimed by Daesh.

The United States in March officially linked the ADF to Daesh and identified its leader as Seka Musa Baluku.

In August, Uganda said it had foiled a suicide bombing on the funeral of a top military and police commander, Paul Lokech, and blamed it on the ADF.

Lokech, nicknamed the “Lion of Mogadishu”, had led African Union units that routed Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab from the Somali capital in 2011.

In Kigali, a Rwandan police spokesman said the first arrest had taken place in August with more following in September.

The alleged attack plot was announced as Rwandan troops are fighting Daesh-linked militants in northern Mozambique.

Rwanda was the first of several African countries to provide reinforcements to Mozambique’s army, which was overwhelmed by an insurgency in its gas-rich Cabo Delgado province that has claimed more than 3,200 lives.

Between 2010 and 2013, Rwanda was hit by several deadly grenade attacks, including one in 2013 shortly before parliamentary elections.

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