38 Muslim Brother supporters die in Police Custody from Tear Gas

Muslim Brotherhood members seen behind bars presstv.ir

Muslim Brotherhood members seen behind bars presstv.ir

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior has confirmed that approximately 38 Muslim Brotherhood supporters died in police custody Sunday from tear gas suffocation. It is unclear what events actually took place as BBC has reported that the Ministry of Interior originally stated the MB prisoner deaths resulted from an exchange of fire after an unidentified gunman ambushed the convoy transporting the prisoners. Shortly afterwards however, the Ministry issued a statement that tear gas was used on the prisoners in an attempt to restrain them from escaping from the van and also to free a police officer that was taken hostage. The police officer survived but was badly injured.

Reuters has reported that a legal source claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood captives died in the back of a crammed van from tear gas inhalation while being transported to a prison. Tear gas is commonly used during riot control and is a non-lethal chemical weapon that can cause tears, pain, and even blindness. Typically tear gas is not fatal unless an excessive amount of tear gas is used and inhaled in confined spaces. There are currently no reports that the Egyptian government will investigate these fatalities.

Including these prisoners, the death toll from clashes between pro-Morsi supporters and the Army on Sunday reaches over 100, with at least 500 injured. Since the Army crackdown on the Rabaa and Nahda pro-Morsi sit-in on Wednesday, the death toll has reached over 830 with 4000 injured people and 1000 arrests.  The Egyptian population is currently highly polarized between Muslim Brotherhood members and secular pro-Army supporters with Egyptian State TV labeling the current unrest as terrorism and insinuating that Morsi supporters are causing the violence on the streets.

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