CAIRO, March 18 (Xinhua) -- One Egyptian policeman was sentenced to 10 years in prison by an Egyptian court on Tuesday and three others were given one-year suspended sentences over killing 37 Muslim Brotherhood members during their transfer to a prison last August, state-run Nile TV reported.
Armed clashes broke out between the security forces and militants, who intercepted and attacked police vehicles carrying detainees affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood to Abou Zaabal Prison in Qalyubiya governorate last August.
The Interior Ministry then said that the Islamists died of suffocation of teargas fired by the security forces who were in a state of self-defense. The suspected policemen said they fired the tear gas to prevent the prisoners to escape.
While one of the survived prisoners told the prosecutor that the van was overloaded, and it stopped many times which triggered clashes with the security forces.
Egypt witnessed nationwide clashes between supporters of the Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and the security forces after the latter dispersed two major pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and Giza on August 14.
Over 630 people, mostly Morsi loyalists, have been killed in the dispersal operation, according to an official human rights commission on Monday.