Protests continued in Egypt on Sunday as the death toll climbed. At least 38 Muslim Brotherhood supporters lost their lives in disputed circumstances on Sunday.
More than 890 people have died in the Middle Eastern nation since Wednesday in clashes that were spurred by the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi.
Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been rounded up by the government in recent days, reports Reuters. The government is doing so to both end weeks of protest and also assert their authority in the aftermath of the ouster.
The Interior Ministry explained the prison incident on Sunday, explaining that a group of detainees attempted to escape from the prison outside Cairo. They added that several prisoners were killed by tear gas when police launched a rescue mission to free an officer.
However, not everyone agreed with the Interior Ministry’s explanation. A legal source told Reuters that the men died from asphyxiation while they were in the back of a crammed police van on its way to the prison.
USA Today notes that Morsi supporters canceled at least one of their planned protest marches on Sunday because of security concerns. A rally was called off at Roxy Square in Cairo after they hears “reports of thugs on rooftops of surrounding buildings.”
The violence has resulted in criticism from the United States and the European Union. Both have promised to assess the foreign aid they send to Egypt.
The country’s interim cabinet also met on Sunday to discuss the protest across Egypt. Liberal deputy prime minister Ziad Bahaa el-Din called for an end to a state of emergency that was declared last week. He also asked for all parties to participate in politics and that human rights will be guaranteed — including the right to free assembly.
The cabinet meeting lasted for four hours and ended with no announcement of any major decisions from the government. With no resolution coming, it is likely Egypt protests will stretch into the next week.