A retired Argentine military officer wanted for crimes committed during the 1976-1983 "dirty war" against the left has been arrested in the Uruguayan capital, a police source told Efe Friday.

Col. Alberto Julio Candiotti, 68, was arrested Thursday at the Montevideo apartment building where he lived with his wife.

Uruguay's National Police acted on the basis of an Interpol Red Notice issued at the request of an Argentine federal court, the source said.

Authorities suspect Candiotti either snuck into Uruguay or entered the country using false documents after stays in two or three other Latin American nations, according to the source.

The Uruguayan Justice Ministry had offered a reward of 100,000 pesos (around $20,000) for information on Candiotti's whereabouts, capital daily La Republica said Friday.

The 1976-1983 Argentine military regime killed as many as 30,000 people and brutalized thousands more.

Thanks to amnesty laws passed in the 1980s, the junta's crimes went unpunished for decades, but Argentina's Congress voted in 2003 to overturn the amnesties, which paved the way for a raft of prosecutions.

Candiotti is wanted in connection with abuses committed by the San Justo Investigative Brigade between January 1978 and April 1979.

The Argentine dictatorship and contemporaneous military regimes in Uruguay, Chile, Brazil and Bolivia worked together to eliminate political opponents. EFE