Fugitive Ugandan Islamist rebel leader held: report

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Dr Congo troops prepare to fight Ugandan Islamist ADF-Nalu rebels near Beni in the east of the country

Dr Congo troops prepare to fight Ugandan Islamist ADF-Nalu rebels near Beni in the east of the country (AFP Photo/Alain Wandimoyi)

Kampala (AFP) - The leader of a Ugandan rebel group with alleged links to Al-Qaeda has been arrested in Tanzania, state-owned Ugandan media reported Thursday.

Uganda's New Vision newspaper said Jamil Mukulu, leader of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), was being held in Tanzania ahead of his extradition.

The ADF is a Ugandan Islamic militia based in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ugandan and Tanzanian police neither confirmed nor denied the report.

Mukulu, believed to be 51, is wanted in Uganda for a range of crimes including terrorism and murder. The international police agency Interpol has issued a warrant for his arrest at Uganda's request.

The ADF emerged in the mid-1990s in response to a crackdown against the Salafist Tabliq sect and is believed to have had the support of President Omar al-Bashir's government in Sudan.

Under Mukulu's leadership the group moved to eastern DR Congo in 1995 where it has been based ever since.

The United States listed the ADF as a terrorist organisation in 2001, and Uganda's government accuses it of links to Somalia's Shebab and to Al-Qaeda.