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A conflict at an Egyptian prison on Sunday left 36 Muslim Brotherhood members dead. Government security forces had arrested the prisoners, along with hundreds of others, in recent protests against the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi.
Although the circumstances of the conflict are disputed, Egypt’s Interior Ministry claims that security forces fired tear gas on the prisoners after an attempted jailbreak. However, a different source told Reuters that the detainees “died from asphyxiation in the back of a crammed police van.”
Sunday’s events contribute to the almost 900 deaths over the past four days, reports The Associated Press. Amidst growing tension between the Muslim Brotherhood and government security forces, Egypt’s military leader Gen. Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, who ousted Morsi on July 3, encourages the Egyptian people to accept their new government.
El-Sissi promises, “Egypt has room for everybody, and we are keen to save every drop of Egyptian blood," reports CNN. However, in the same breath he warns, "Confrontation will not be in the interest of those who wish to confront us, because we are determined to protect Egypt and its people."