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Egypt: Relatives of 36 prisoners killed in police custody demand answers

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Egypt: Relatives of 36 prisoners killed in police custody demand answers


In Cairo, relatives of 36 prisoners killed in custody have visited a morgue demanding answers.

There are conflicting reports about how their loved ones died:

Security officials claim the detainees died from tear gas following a riot in one of the trucks during which a police officer was taken hostage and beaten.

State media reports the deaths took place as detainees tried to escape after security forces clashed with militants near the prison.

A brother of one of the dead prisoners said: “My brother was transferred to Abu Zaabal prison yesterday. The prison was attacked and we don’t know what happened to him. We were planning to visit him at Abu Zaabal today, but we were told that 36 prisoners were killed, so we came here to the morgue to check for him.”

Relatives gathered around official lists of those killed, looking for confirmation of a loved one’s death.

Meanwhile, authorities in Cairo turned refrigerated trucks into temporary morgues to store the bodies of protesters killed in recent clashes.

As relatives climbed inside the truck to look for family members, others carried away coffins for burial.

Almost a thousand people have been killed in clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi since last Wednesday.

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