A village court in Rwanda has arrested a senior army general for his alleged role in the nation's 1994 genocide.

The arrest of Major General Laurent Munyakazi is the first by the so-called "gacaca" court system.

He was detained after allegations he had intimidated witnesses and tried to tamper with evidence.

The gacaca court has identified the major-general as a mastermind of the genocide, which means he will be tried by Rwanda's formal justice system, not in a gacaca court.

In 1994, Hutu extremists killed an estimated 800,000 minority Tutsis and their Hutu sympathizers in about 100 days.

General Munyakazi, a member of the majority Hutu ethnic group, was a security official during the genocide.

Witnesses testifying in the gacaca courts have accused him of directing Hutu militiamen to attack Tutsis seeking refuge in churches.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.