CAIRO (Reuters) - A French citizen was beaten to death by fellow detainees while in Egyptian police custody after he had been arrested for breaking a curfew, Egyptian security sources said on Tuesday.

The French foreign ministry confirmed the death and said it had called on Egyptian authorities to investigate.

The security sources said the man was arrested in Cairo for violating the overnight curfew and that he had no valid residency permit. They added that he was drunk at the time.

After being presented to state prosecutors, who decided to release and deport him, the man had been put in detention at a police station pending deportation, the sources added.

"There was a fight between him and six other detainees when he wanted to turn the light on while they wanted it off to go to sleep. They attacked him and he had a brain haemorrhage and died," one security source said.

There were conflicting reports on when he died. The security sources said he had been arrested at the weekend and died on Sunday, while French Foreign Ministry Deputy spokesman Vincent Floreani said he was killed on Friday in police custody.

Egypt originally announced a state of emergency and a dusk-to-dawn curfew in mid-August after breaking up protest camps demanding the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Mursi, who was toppled following mass demonstrations against his rule. Curfew hours have since been shortened.

(Reporting By Shadia Nasralla and Asma Alsharif in Cairo, John Irish in Paris)

 

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