(CAIRO) — Security sources from the Egyptian Ministry of Interior say that a retired U.S. army officer committed suicide in an Egyptian prison cell.
The officer, 66-year-old James Lunn, had been arrested for breaking curfew in the North Sinai province in August. He was transferred to a police station in Ismailia due to poor security and spent the past six weeks in prison.
The chief detective of Ismailia sent a notice to Major General Mohammed Anani stating that the Lunn was found hung from the ceiling of his cell after breakfast had been served on Sunday.
In a statement, the U.S. embassy confirmed that a U.S. citizen prisoner in Ismailia died from an apparent suicide. “The embassy is in contact with authorities concerning the case and continues to provide all consular services.”
Lunn’s body was sent to the morgue at Ismailia General Hospital pending an autopsy.
Lunn had been living alone in a town called Sheikh Zuwayed in the northeast of the Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported at the time of his arrest. He was reportedly on his way to the Palestinian Gaza Strip when he was arrested for breaking the 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. curfew.
A consular team from the embassy had visited him at the jail last week but the embassy declined to say what Lunn was doing in the Sinai, the most violent part of the country.
Since Morsi was deposed, the already lawless Sinai has grown increasingly bloody. The ouster was followed by a military and police crackdown and there have been almost daily attacks against security targets by Islamic militants. On Friday, three soldiers and one policeman were killed when a suicide bomber drove a car bomb into a checkpoint.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN