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Four police officers held in probe of 37 Morsi supporters' deaths

Four police officers held in probe of 37 Morsi supporters' deaths
Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi clash with Egyptian security forces during clashes between security forces and supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi during a protest called by the Muslim Brotherhood in Ramses Square, downtown Cairo, Egypt, August. 16, 2013. UPI/Ahmed Jomaa | License Photo

CAIRO, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Four police officers were held in the deaths of 37 backers of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi who were killed during a prison transfer, officials said.

Prosecutors said the four officers have been detained for four days pending the investigation into the deaths of the Morsi supporters who the Interior Ministry said died of asphyxiation because of teargas and overcrowding while being taken to Abu Zabaal prison in Cairo, Ahram Online reported Tuesday.

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Security forces claimed the prisoners died during an escape attempt, but investigators from the prosecutor's office said they discovered there was no escape attempt.

Ahram Online said Egyptian police have been accused of using excessive force and torture for many years. The January 2011 uprising that led to the fall of Morsi's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, began as demonstrations against police brutality.

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