MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) – Some four dozen of the Muslim Brotherhood supporters died in clashes at an Egyptian prison, media reports said citing officials.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that an unnamed number of detainees had tried to escape from a prison near Cairo and had taken a police officer hostage, Reuters reported on Sunday.
According to the cited statement, the subsequent clashes, the ministry said an undisclosed number of people had died from inhaling tear gas rounds. The officials didn’t give details on the number of prisoners involved.
A group of gunmen tried to free Islamist prisoners but were killed in fire exchange with Egyptian police, the official MENA news agency said, according to AFP. It said the gunmen died when they attacked on a police convoy transferring a "large group" of Muslim Brotherhood prisoners.
A legal source told Reuters that the Brotherhood followers had suffocated in the back of a police van while being taken to prison.
More than 800 people have died in Egypt since last Wednesday in clashes pitting backers of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and security forces. The death toll climbed Sunday as it has been confirmed that some 80 people died and 549 were wounded on Saturday in political violence around the country, state news agency MENA said on Sunday citing official records.
The authorities said earlier they have arrested more than 1,000 Brotherhood supporters this week as part of a massive crackdown.