Cairo: Egyptian troops and protesters clashed on Sunday in the landmark Tahrir square here for the third straight day, leaving at least ten people dead and injuries to hundreds in the post-election violence aimed at forcing the army to handover power to a civilian leadership.

Soldiers clashed with hundreds of rock-throwing protesters in the heart of the capital, pelting each other with rocks, in the bloodiest violence in weeks that threatens to undermine the credibility of first Parliamentary polls in post-Mubarak era.

The violence erupted on Friday, a day after the second phase of polls closed, when soldiers stormed an anti-military protest outside the Cabinet building, a short distance from
Tahrir.

The protesters were reportedly detained and beaten by troops. The three days of violence has left 10 people dead and 432 others injured, according to Egypt's health ministry.

"What the military have essentially done is created a concrete barrier to block the entrance into that street to stop the protesters coming from Tahrir Square and continuing with their sit in," Arab channel Al Jazeera said.

The report described the situation as "pretty calm", but said clashes have continued to simmer near Egypt's parliament building.

 It said skirmishes "are taking place...across that concrete wall between the military and the protesters."

The demonstrators want an immediate handover to civilian rule in Egypt. They object to the appointment of Kamal Ganzuri as the new Egyptian Prime Minister last month by the ruling military.

The latest clashes were taking place as unofficial results from a second round of voting in parliamentary elections showed the dominance at the Islamist partie, led by
the Muslim Brotherhood.

 In the latest flare up, the military has cracked down hard on the protesters, dragged women by the hair, kicking and beating them. Troops have pulled down tents set up by the protesters and set them on fire.
Among the 10 killed is Emad Effat, a cleric of Egypt's Dar al-Ifta, a religious authority that issues Islamic fatwas (edicts).

In a statement on Saturday, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), the ruling military council that is governing country after President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February, denied that troops had tried to break up the sit-in.

It blamed the violence on the protesters who have been camping in front of the building for three weeks demanding an end to the military rule.

The statement claimed that the clashes were part of a conspiracy to derail the country's ongoing election process.

Ganzuri, who first served as premier under Mubarak from 1996 to 1999, accused protesters of being counter- revolutionaries, a reference to the uprising in February that ended a three-decade rule of President Mubarak.

"Those who are in Tahrir Square (epicentre of the revolution that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak in February) are not the youth of the revolution," Ganzuri told a press conference Saturday.

"This is not a revolution, but a counter-revolution".    

The anti-government activists have been holding a sit-in protest in the heart of the Egyptian capital since the appointment Ganzouri, which followed mass protests last month in which nearly 40 people were killed.

The military, which has been governing the country since Mubarak was toppled, has vowed that it will step down once a new President is elected by the end of June next year.

The latest round of clashes came as Egypt ended its second phase of the parliamentary vote that began on November 28.

Islamist groups, Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and Salafi al-Nour party, have dominated the poll.

A third round of elections to the lower house of Parliament covering the remaining nine provinces will take place in early January.

Egyptians will choose an upper house in a further three rounds of polls after the voting for the lower house of parliament gets over.

(Agencies)