Rwandan police say they killed a Muslim cleric in the capital who was suspected of recruiting for the Islamic State group.

Police spokesman Celestin Twahirwa said Monday that the suspect, Muhammad Mugemangango, was shot dead in Kigali on Saturday as he attempted to flee from police custody.

Although the East African countries of Kenya and Uganda have been attacked by Islamic extremists, this is the first time Rwandan authorities have said there is the threat of an extremist network in the country.

Mugemangango had been the deputy imam of Kigali's Kimiranko mosque. Adam Ali, a colleague of Mugemangango at the mosque, said he was shocked by the killing of Mugemangango, describing him as a good Muslim who was never involved in criminal activities.