Police in a city outside Senegal's capital have arrested four young men accused of carrying out attacks in a bid to rid their neighborhood of gay people.

Mamadou Faye, a police official in the city of Rufisque, said Monday the four men remained in custody after being arrested Friday. He said they are accused of targeting five gay men during a nighttime raid on Jan. 30, injuring some of them and destroying property.

Faye said the suspects "wanted to clean their neighborhood, which they said is infested with homosexuals."

Anti-gay sentiment runs deep in Senegal, where homosexual acts are punishable by up to five years in prison.

Residents of the Rufisque neighborhood where the gay men were allegedly attacked said they would organize demonstrations until the suspects were freed.