Cairo: Anti-military protesters and soldiers yesterday clashed near the defence ministry in Cairo a day after the ruling generals warned against attempts to storm the ministry's building.

The soldiers used water cannons to disperse hundreds of protesters as they tried to remove barbed wire and barricades erected in the vicinity of the ministry in the district of Abassiya in eastern Cairo. The protesters hurled stones at the troops, said witnesses.

An unspecified number of injuries occurred in the clashes, added the witnesses. At least nine people were killed and more than 170 injured in clashes between protesters and unidentified attackers in the same place on Wednesday, according to the ruling military council.


Hundreds of anti-military demonstrators, mainly Islamists, yesterday joined the protesters who have been camping out near the ministry since last Saturday, demanding an end to military rule and dissolving an official commission, overseeing this month's presidential elections over alleged bias.

The military rulers warned protesters against approaching the defence ministry, describing it as "a symbol of the army's honour and the state's authority".

The generals have been governing Egypt since a popular revolt toppled long-standing president Hosni Mubarak in February last year. They pledged to hand over power to a civilian administration after presidential elections.