UN chief calls for probe of Egypt detainee deaths

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for a "full investigation" into the deaths of three dozen Islamist detainees in police custody in Egypt.

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2013, 10:45 AM IST

United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for a "full investigation" into the deaths of three dozen Islamist detainees in police custody in Egypt.

Ban was "deeply disturbed by the reported deaths" of the prisoners as they were being transferred to a different facility in Cairo, according to his spokesman Martin Nesirky.

"He calls for a full investigation to ascertain the facts surrounding this incident," Nesirky said yesterday.

Authorities said 37 Islamist detainees died after police fired tear gas in a bid to free an officer taken hostage by prisoners, as the inmates were being transferred to a north Cairo jail.

But the Muslim Brotherhood, the once-banned movement from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hailed, held the police accountable, accusing them of "murder."

Ban also condemned a militant ambush of police buses in Egypt`s Sinai Peninsula yesterday that left 25 policemen dead.

"The Secretary-General expresses the hope that the perpetrators will be swiftly identified and brought to justice," his spokesman said.

AFP