KHARTOUM, Jan 2: Egyptian authorities are preparing to deport some 600 Sudanese, part of a group of nearly 2,000 people detained after police forcibly broke up a protest in Cairo, a Sudanese official said on Monday.

“The targeted number of Sudanese who will be flown on an Egyptian airliner is around 600,” Major General Beshir Ahmed Beshir, who chairs a committee formed to receive the deportees, told AFP.

A Sudanese diplomatic source, meanwhile, said the death toll among the refugees after the violent clashes on Friday with security forces outside the Cairo offices of the UN refugee agency UNHCR had increased to 27.

The dead include 12 children, eight women and seven men, a spokesman for Sudan’s embassy in Cairo told AFP. The toll rose after more people died of their injuries in hospitals across the city.

Egyptian officials said that only individuals whose asylum requests the UNHCR has rejected and do not have legal residence in Egypt will be expelled.

Human rights groups have expressed concern for the safety of those being expelled, many of who lost their documents when Egyptian security forces stormed the park where they had been protesting for three months.

Sudan said it would welcome the deportees and refugees who wish to return home. Thousands of riot police last week forcibly broke-up the protest by Sudanese refugees.—AFP

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