At least seven people died during violent clashes between supporters and opponents of the military-backed government as Egypt marks the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising which ended with the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.
Police broke up anti-government protests with tear gas, and arrests were reported in Cairo and Alexandria.
Hundreds have died since July when the army deposed President Mohamed Morsi.
The government has said extra security measures are in place for Saturday.
Egyptian Interior Minister Muhammad Ibrahim urged Egyptians not to be afraid to go to events marking the anniversary of the uprising.
Egypt marks the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising which ended with the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak
Thousands of supporters of the military and the government have gathered in high-profile locations including Tahrir Square – the focal point of the 18-day 2011 popular revolt.
Participants waved Egyptian flags and banners showing army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whom many urged to run for president.
But police dealt harshly with anti-government protesters in Cairo and elsewhere. At least seven people have died – four in the greater Cairo area, two in the southern city of Minya and a woman in Egypt’s second city, Alexandria.
Shortly before 8 a.m. on Saturday, a bomb was thrown at the wall of the police training academy in the Cairo suburb of Ain Shams, reportedly injuring one person.
Six people died in four bombings in Cairo on Friday, along with at least another dozen people killed in clashes with security forces.
Meanwhile on Saturday, an army helicopter crashed in the restive Sinai peninsula, with an unconfirmed report that its crew of five soldiers was dead.
Clashes between former President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters and Egyptian troops have erupted in Cairo and other cities on Friday.
Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard in the centre of Cairo and tear gas was used. The government denied reports that a protester was killed.
Troops were out in force to prevent the protesters reaching Tahrir Square.
State TV reported further clashes in the northern Sharqiya district and to the east in Giza, as well as in the northern port city of Alexandria.
There were also reports of clashes between pro-Morsi demonstrators and civilian supporters of the military government.
One demonstrator was killed in the centre of the capital, according to some reports, although state TV carried a statement from the health ministry denying anyone had died.
Hundreds of Islamist protesters have died in violence since the Egyptian military deposed Mohamed Morsi in July.
Hundreds of Islamist protesters have died in violence since the Egyptian military deposed Mohamed Morsi in July
Thousands of members of the Muslim Brotherhood have also been detained over the past two months.
Several senior figures, including Mohamed Morsi and the movement’s general guide Mohammed Badie, are being held on charges such as incitement to violence and murder.
The authorities portray the crackdown as a struggle against “terrorism”.
Protesters in the capital’s Agouza district were chanting “Rabaa, Rabaa”, a reference to the square next to the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque where a sit-in was cleared by force in August.
Later, security forces fired tear gas at Morsi supporters as they tried to march towards Tahrir Square, the focus of the mass protests against Mohamed Morsi and his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.
Troops also took up positions on both sides of Qasr al-Nil Bridge, which leads to the square from the Zamalek district.
Before Friday’s clashes, soldiers and police had tightened security around key sites in Cairo, including Tahrir Square.
Mohamed Morsi supporters have said they will be intensifying their demonstrations in the lead-up to Sunday’s 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
Opponents who back the army have also said they will take to the streets.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Brotherhood sharply criticized the officers behind the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, comparing them to Adolf Hitler, the Roman emperor Nero and the Mongol conqueror Hulagu Khan.
It urged Egyptian soldiers to rebel and said it hoped that Sunday would mark a “victory by the people over those who staged a coup against them for personal gain”.
On Thursday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Baroness Catherine Ashton, held talks with armed forces chief General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and interim President Adly Mansour, as well as with religious leaders.
“I got a real sense of everyone really trying to go forward in the right way,” she told reporters afterwards.
The previous day, a 16-year-old boy was killed in clashes between Mohamed Morsi supporters and opponents in the Red Sea city of Suez.
Tens of thousands of protesters are on the streets of Egyptian cities in rival shows of force by supporters and opponents of Mohamed Morsi, ousted as president by the military last week.
Mohamed Morsi’s supporters have gathered outside a mosque and a barracks in Cairo to demand his reinstatement.
Anti-Morsi protesters are rallying in the capital’s Tahrir Square.
Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first Islamist president, is in detention, along with some senior Muslim Brotherhood figures.
He was replaced on Thursday by Adly Mansour – the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court – who promised to hold elections soon but gave no date.
The military has deployed troops in Cairo and other locations. More than 30 people were killed and about 1,000 people injured across Egypt in protests on Friday.
Mohamed Morsi’s supporters have been camped outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo for more than a week. On Sunday, thousands marched from the mosque to the barracks of the Presidential Guard, where they believe Mohamed Morsi is being held.
Another group of pro-Morsi marchers are heading for the ministry of defense.
Tens of thousands of protesters are on the streets of Egyptian cities in rival shows of force by supporters and opponents of Mohamed Morsi
Tamarod, the opposition movement whose name means “rebel” in Arabic, called on its supporters to rally in Tahrir Square and at the Ittihadiya presidential palace.
Egypt military planes flew overhead, trailing plumes of smoke in red, white and black, the colors of the national flag.
There is still no word on whether pro-reform leader Mohamed Elbaradei has been appointed as interim prime minister.
Tamarod has tweeted that it will not accept anyone except Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel laureate and former head of the UN nuclear agency, as prime minister.
However, the ultra-conservative Salafist al-Nour party is said to be unhappy with Mohamed ElBaradei, whom its members view as too secular.
In other developments, plain-clothes police raided the main office of al-Jazeera’s Arabic TV channel in Cairo on Sunday and arrested the bureau chief.
Abdel Fattah Fayed is accused of operating an unlicensed channel and broadcasting reports that had a negative impact on national security.
Meanwhile, 11 activists have been acquitted of inciting violence and destroying public property, the Egyptian state news agency Mena reported.
The group – which included the blogger Ahmed Douma – was facing charges relating to clashes with Muslim Brotherhood supporters outside the organization’s headquarters in March.
Tamarod – which organized the recent anti-Morsi protests – had accused the ousted president of pursuing an Islamist agenda against the wishes of most Egyptians, and of failing to tackle economic problems.
The US and other Western countries have expressed concern over Mohamed Morsi’s removal, and have called for reconciliation and speedy elections.
Adly Mansour, top judge of Egypt’s Constitutional Court, is to be sworn in as interim leader, hours after the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi and put him under house arrest.
Army chief General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi announced the move on Wednesday, in what Mohamed Morsi said was a military coup.
General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected leader, had “failed to meet the demands of the people”.
The move comes after days of mass rallies against the Islamist president.
Protesters accused him and the Muslim Brotherhood of pursuing an Islamist agenda for the country and of failing to tackle Egypt’s economic problems.
The president had appeared to protesters to be economically out of his depth, and had not given them the reassurances they wanted that he could address rampant poverty.
Mohamed Morsi’s opponents celebrated through the night in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, as the army announced it had suspended the constitution and pledged to hold new elections.
But clashes erupted overnight between Mohamed Morsi supporters and the security forces in Cairo and Alexandria, leaving seven protestors dead. A further 10 deaths have been reported in confrontations in other parts of the country.
Gehad el-Haddad, a spokesman for Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, said the ousted leader had been put under house arrest and the “entire presidential team” was in detention.
His father, senior Morsi aide Essam el-Haddad, and Saad al-Katatni, head of the Brotherhood’s political wing, are among those held.
The state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported that arrest warrants had been issued for 300 leaders and members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Adly Mansour, top judge of Egypt’s Constitutional Court, was sworn in as interim leader
US President Barack Obama has said he is “deeply concerned” by the latest turn of events and called for a swift return to civilian rule.
The removal of the president followed four days of mass protests against Mohamed Morsi and an ultimatum issued by the military, which expired on Wednesday afternoon.
In his televised speech, General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said the armed forces could ignore the call of the Egyptian masses.
He spoke of a new roadmap for the future, and said Adly Mansour would be given the task of “running the country’s affairs during the transitional period until the election of a new president”.
Adly Mansour, currently chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, is scheduled to be sworn in as head of state at around 10:00.
The army moved quickly after General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi ‘s speech, with military vehicles seen fanning out across the capital.
TV stations belonging to the Brotherhood went off air and state news agency Mena said managers at the movement’s Misr25 channel had been arrested.
A notice on Mohamed Morsi’s Facebook page condemned the “military coup”.
The statement asked Egyptian citizens to “abide by the constitution and the law and not to respond to this coup”.
Mohamed Morsi, who had pledged his life to defend constitutional legitimacy, accused the army of “taking only one side”.
In Tahrir Square thousands of anti-Morsi protesters celebrated with fireworks and honking car horns.
One protester, Omar Sherif, told AFP news agency: “It’s a new historical moment. We got rid of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.”
After General Sisi’s address, both Pope Tawadros II – the head of the Coptic Church – and leading opposition figure Mohammed ElBaradei made short televised speeches about the new roadmap for Egypt’s future which they had agreed with the army.
Mohammed ElBaradei said the roadmap aimed for national reconciliation and represented a fresh start to the January 2011 revolution.
“This roadmap has been drafted by honorable people who seek the interests, first and foremost, of the country,” added Pope Tawadros.
Opposition leader and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa told AFP that consultations for a government and reconciliation “will start from now”.
Mohamed Morsi became Egypt’s first Islamist president on 30 June 2012, after winning an election considered free and fair following the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
However his term in office was marred by constant political unrest and a sinking economy.
The mass protests at the weekend that led to the army’s intervention were called by the Tamarod (Rebel) movement, in response to worsening social and economic conditions.
But there has been a growing sense of discontent since last November, when Mohamed Morsi issued a controversial constitutional declaration granting himself extensive powers.
Mohamed Morsi’s moves to entrench Islamic laws and concentrate power in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood also alienated liberals and secularists.
Egyptian anti-government protesters have stormed the national headquarters of President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in the capital, Cairo.
People are reported to have ransacked the building in the eastern Moqattam district and also set it on fire.
Eight people have been killed outside since Sunday, security sources say.
Earlier, the opposition movement behind the protests that saw millions take to the streets across Egypt on Sunday gave Mohamed Morsi until Tuesday to resign.
Tamarod (Rebel) said Mohamed Morsi would face a campaign of civil disobedience if he did not leave power and allow elections to be held.
Protesters across Egypt have accused the president of failing to tackle economic and security problems since being elected a year ago. His supporters have insisted he needs more time.
Millions of people attended demonstrations across the country on Sunday to demand Mohamed Morsi step down.
The crowds seen in Cairo’s Tahrir Square were the biggest since the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
Overnight, protesters threw petrol bombs and rocks at armed guards inside, who retaliated by firing at them.
Anti-government protesters have stormed the national HQ of President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo
On Monday morning, the protesters stormed the six-storey building and began throwing objects of broken windows. One protester was seen removing the Muslim Brotherhood sign, while an Egyptian flag was flown from a balcony.
A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman blamed the violence on “thugs” and said it would be demanding the police explain why officers had failed to protect the group’s headquarters, according to the Reuters news agency.
Two people inside had been injured by fires before a Brotherhood security detail could evacuate them on Monday morning, he added.
Earlier, Tamarod issued a statement saying the protesters would give Mohamed Morsi until 17:00 on Tuesday to leave power and allow state institutions to prepare for early presidential elections.
Otherwise, people would begin a campaign of “complete civil disobedience”, the group warned.
It urged “state institutions including the army, the police and the judiciary, to clearly side with the popular will as represented by the crowds”.
The group also rejected offers of dialogue from the president.
“There is no way to accept any half measures,” it said.
“There is no alternative other than the peaceful end of power of the Muslim Brotherhood and its representative, Mohamed Morsi.”
On Saturday, Tamarod said it had collected more than 22 million signatures – more than a quarter of Egypt’s population – in support.
But Mohamed Morsi was defiant in an interview published on Sunday, rejecting the opposition calls for early presidential elections.
“If we changed someone in office who [was elected] according to constitutional legitimacy – well, there will be people opposing the new president too, and a week or a month later they will ask him to step down,” he told the Guardian newspaper.
He said he would not tolerate any deviation from constitutional order.
“There is no room for any talk against this constitutional legitimacy. There can be demonstrations and people expressing their opinions,” Mohamed Morsi added.
“But what’s critical in all this is the adoption and application of the constitution. This is the critical point.”
Egypt’s top judges have accused President Mohammed Mursi of staging an “unprecedented attack” on the judiciary.
Mohammed Mursi passed a decree earlier this week granting himself extensive new powers.
It includes a bar on any court dissolving the constituent assembly, which is drawing up a new constitution.
Thursday’s decree has sparked angry demonstrations, with attacks on offices of Mohammed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood party.
The president has said he is acting to protect the revolution.
In a statement, the Supreme Judicial Council called on Mohammed Mursi to “this decree from everything that violates the judicial authority,” Mena state news agency reported.
There had been reports that the council was about to disband the constituent assembly for a second time.
Egypt’s top judges have accused President Mohammed Mursi of staging an unprecedented attack on the judiciary
That could seriously derail the transition to democracy, says our correspondent, further delaying new parliamentary elections, which could deter Egypt’s political leaders from taking tough decisions while they wait for the vote.
Mohammed Mursi also sacked his prosecutor general on Thursday and gave himself the sole power to appoint a new one.
His replacement moved quickly to reopen criminal investigations into ousted President Hosni Mubarak, his family, and former regime officials.
It is likely to be a popular move, as although Mubarak is serving a long jail term for ordering the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising, many officials were acquitted, creating deep resentments.
The ruling also bans any challenging of the president’s decisions and laws.
Both critics and supporters of Mohammed Mursi have staged rallies since the decree. Overnight, crowds gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, vowing to stage a sit-in.
A large opposition rally is also planned for Tuesday.
The US said earlier that Mohammed Mursi’s move had raised concerns in the international community.
Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi has appeared before supporters in Cairo to defend a new decree that grants him sweeping powers.
Mohammed Mursi told them he was leading Egypt on a path to “freedom and democracy” and was the guardian of stability.
He was speaking as thousands of opponents gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and offices of the president’s party were attacked in several cities.
The decree says presidential decisions cannot be revoked by any authority.
Speaking at a rally at the presidential palace in Cairo, Mohammed Mursi said he was working to secure a strong and stable nation, for which there was a “great future”.
He said: “I am for all Egyptians. I will not be biased against any son of Egypt.”
Mohammed Mursi said he was the guardian of political, economic and social stability and wanted to see a “genuine opposition, a strong opposition”.
“I am the guarantor of that and I will protect for my brothers in the opposition all their rights so they can exercise their role.”
Mohammed Mursi also vowed to defend the independence of the executive, judiciary and legislature and not issue decrees to settle scores.
But across the capital in Tahrir Square, thousands of the president’s opponents heeded calls to demonstrate against the decree.
Chants of “Mursi is Mubarak… revolution everywhere” rang out.
There were clashes between protesters and police in the square, with tear gas fired at demonstrators and Molotov cocktails thrown in return.
Mohammed Mursi has appeared before supporters in Cairo to defend a new decree that grants him sweeping powers
According to Egypt’s state-run news agency, Mena, three people were injured in violence in Cairo’s central Mohammed Mahmoud street.
Offices of the president’s Muslim Brotherhood party have reportedly been attacked in the cities of Port Said and Ismailia.
Clashes between rival demonstrations took place in Alexandria.
Protesters in the Mediterranean city stormed the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, throwing out books and chairs, and starting a fire.
Up to 2,000 demonstrators stormed the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Suez, while hundreds of people also protested against the new decree in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
In a joint news conference on Thursday, Sameh Ashour, head of a lawyers association, and key opposition figures Mohamed ElBaradei and Amr Moussa accused Mohammed Mursi of “monopolizing all three branches of government” and overseeing “the total execution of the independence of the judiciary”.
Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, wrote on his Twitter account that the president had “appointed himself Egypt’s new pharaoh. A major blow to the revolution that could have dire consequences”.
US state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Friday that the decree had “raised concerns” in the international community, because Egypt’s revolution “was to ensure that power would not be overly concentrated in the hands of any one person or institution”.
She said the US wanted “democratic dialogue” within Egypt to solve constitutional issues.
The new decree bans challenges to Mohammed Mursi’s laws and decisions, and says no court can dissolve the constituent assembly, which is drawing up a new constitution.
It also opens the way for a retrial of people convicted of killings during Egypt’s 2011 uprising which toppled President Hosni Mubarak.
The declaration also gives the 100-member constituent assembly two additional months to draft a new constitution, to replace the one suspended after Hosni Mubarak was overthrown.
The rewrite of the constitution, which was meant to be finished by December, has been plagued by lawsuits questioning the make-up of the constituent assembly.
Once completed, the document is due to be put to a referendum. If it is approved, legislative elections will be held two months later.
Higher Presidential Election Commission in Egypt has declared the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi as the winner of presidential election run-off.
Mohammed Mursiwon 51.73% of the vote, beating former PM Ahmed Shafiq, the Higher Presidential Election Commission said.
The head of the panel of judges, Farouq Sultan, said it had upheld some of the 466 complaints by the candidates, but that the election result still stood.
The announcement prompted scenes of jubilation in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where Mohammed Mursi’s supporters gathered.
They have been maintaining a vigil there for days in protest at the series of decrees by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) which they say are designed to reduce or constrain the power of the president, and entrench the power of the military.
Supporters of Ahmed Shafiq had also been holding a rally in the capital’s northern suburb of Nasser City, home of the headquarters of the election commission.
Judge Farouq Sultan began the news conference by saying the declaration of the result had been “marred by tension and a bad atmosphere”.
“The commission applied the law when it looked into the ballots. There is nothing above the law,” he asserted.
Higher Presidential Election Commission in Egypt has declared the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Mursi as the winner of presidential election run-off
The judge then dismissed what he said had been the two most serious complaints of electoral violations – that some ballots had been printed with the name of one candidate already ticked, and that Christians had been prevented from voting in a village in Minya governorate.
He then spent several minutes announcing minor amendments to the vote tallies before suddenly revealing that Mohammed Mursi had won 13,230,131 votes, compared with Ahmed Shafiq’s total of 12,347,380, or 48.27%.
The turnout in last weekend voting was 51.58%, he added.
As Judge Farouq Sultan announced the victory of Mohammed Mursi, who is chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), huge cheers erupted in Tahrir Square.
Tens of thousands of his supporters, as well as those of ultra-conservative Salafist groups, had gathered there to listen to the result on big screens.
Many had camped out overnight to protest against what Islamists, secularists and youth activists have denounced as a military coup.
On 13 June, the justice ministry gave soldiers the right to arrest civilians for trial in military courts until the ratification of a new constitution.
The SCAF then issued a decree on Friday dissolving parliament in line with a Supreme Constitutional Court ruling that the law on elections to the lower house was invalid because party members had been allowed to contest seats reserved for independents.
Two days later, just as the polls were closing in the run-off, the generals issued an interim constitutional declaration that granted them legislative powers and reinforced their role in the drafting of a permanent constitution. The military was also exempted from civilian oversight.
Then on Monday, the head of the SCAF, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, announced the re-establishment of a National Defence Council, putting the generals in charge of Egypt’s national security policy.
The generals have vowed to hand over power to the new president by 30 June, but their decision to dissolve parliament means he could take office without the oversight of a sitting legislature and without a permanent constitution to define his powers or duties.
Egypt is awaiting the delayed results of the presidential run-off election held last weekend.
The results are due in the coming hours, after the election commission heard appeals by the two candidates.
Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq have both claimed victory and vowed to form unity governments.
Thousands of their supporters spent the night in the centre of Cairo amid increasing political polarization.
Correspondents say the atmosphere has been peaceful, but tense.
Many people are still apprehensive about the intentions of the ruling generals, who gave themselves sweeping new powers last week after the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that the Islamist-dominated parliament should be dissolved.
On Friday, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) called on supporters of both candidates to accept the result when it came.
Results from last weekend’s run-off were originally due out on Thursday.
The Higher Presidential Election Commission (HPEC) has said that it will announce the official results at 15:00 local time (13:00 GMT) on Sunday.
Muslim Brotherhood supporters are maintaining a vigil in the capital’s Tahrir Square, where on Friday tens of thousands of protesters gathered to denounce a series of decrees and appointments by the SCAF designed to reduce or constrain the power of the president, and entrench the power of the military.
Egypt is awaiting the delayed results of the presidential run-off election held last weekend
On 13 June, the military-controlled government gave soldiers the right to arrest civilians for trial in military courts until the ratification of a new constitution.
Four days later, just as the polls were closing in the presidential run-off, the generals issued an interim constitutional declaration that granted them all legislative powers and reinforced their role in the drafting of a permanent constitution. The document also exempted the military from civilian oversight.
Then on Monday, the head of the SCAF, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, announced the re-establishment of a National Defence Council, putting the generals in charge of Egypt’s national security policy.
Islamists, liberals and secularists said the moves amounted to a coup.
“The military must leave its political role and go back to its basic role which is protecting the country, not continuing to ruin the country and people’s affairs – this will not be accepted by the Egyptian people,” Abdel Nasser Hijab, a demonstrator in Tahrir Square, told the Associated Press.
There are fears that in the current atmosphere, the announcement of the presidential election results might only make matters worse.
A pro-Ahmed Shafiq demonstration took place on Saturday in the Nasser City neighborhood of Cairo.
“When we decided to take to the streets, we’re not just one, two or three million, we’re 80 million. The only difference is that we’re waiting for the military council to give its final word,” one Shafiq supporter, Doaa, told the Reuters news agency.
Hundreds of supporters held up pictures of Ahmed Shafiq and Field Marshal Tantawi while chanting slogans in support of the army and against the Brotherhood.
Correspondents say that there was less enthusiasm in the run-off election than there was for previous rounds of voting, and some called for a boycott or spoiled ballots.
On Tuesday, the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party announced that Mohammed Mursi, its chairman, had won with 51.74% of the vote, citing official figures from the HPEC.
Mohammed Mursi has also secured the support of several leading liberal figures and youth activists in Egypt, including Wael Ghonim, who played a key role in the uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak to step down in February 2011.
Ahmed Shafiq came second to Mohammed Mursi in last month’s first round, in which turnout among the 52 million eligible voters was only 46%.
But the former air force commander, who served briefly as former President Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, said on Thursday at his first public appearance since the run-off that he was confident of victory.
Egypt’s presidential poll results have been delayed by the election authorities, raising further tension across the country.
The results had been due to be announced on Thursday, but the election commission said it needed more time to look into complaints presented by the candidates.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi and former PM Ahmed Shafiq both claim they won last weekend’s vote.
Thousands of opposition supporters are protesting in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
They have gathered to demonstrate against the delay in announcing the poll result and also against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) – the military council that has led the country since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year.
The Muslim Brotherhood called people into the square to voice their outrage over recent constitutional amendments which gave the SCAF sweeping political and legislative powers.
If the Muslim Brotherhood has won the election, there are doubts over whether the authorities would allow them to take power after fighting them for so many decades.
There is increasingly fevered speculation about whether the election will be cancelled or rigged, he adds.
Egypt's presidential poll results have been delayed by the election authorities, raising further tension across the country
Meanwhile, 84-year-old Hosni Mubarak remains in critical condition at an army hospital in Cairo.
He is said to have had a series of strokes and to be on a life-support machine, but there has been no official word on his condition.
Earlier this month, Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the death of protesters during last year’s revolution.
Correspondents say there are fears that Hosni Mubarak’s failing health could be used as a distraction as Egypt awaits the result of the hotly disputed election.
On Wednesday, the Higher Presidential Elections Commission (HPEC) said that some 400 election complaints had been filed by the two candidates.
The commission said it needed more time to investigate the complaints, without giving any new date for the announcement of the results.
However, media reports suggest that the poll winner could be declared over the weekend.
Nader Omran, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, said the announcement should not have been delayed.
“It will bring more tension to the people – they should end the story tomorrow (Thursday),” he said.
Protests continued in Tahrir Square late into the night, with the Brotherhood saying they will mount a sit-in until the results are announced, and until the army gives up the sweeping powers it granted itself in a constitutional amendment last week.
Correspondents say Egypt appears to be in political and constitutional limbo.
In preliminary comments on the second round of the presidential election, a group of international election monitors headed by former US President Jimmy Carter voiced concerns about the “political and constitutional context” of the vote.
“I am deeply troubled by the undemocratic turn that Egypt’s transition has taken,” Jimmy Carter said.
On Saturday the SCAF had dissolved Egypt’s elected parliament – dominated by the Brotherhood – after a court ruling that last year’s legislative polls were unconstitutional.
Late on Sunday, hours after the polls closed in the presidential vote, the SCAF issued a constitutional declaration giving itself wide-ranging powers and limiting those of the incoming president.
The declaration effectively gave the SCAF legislative powers, control over the budget and over who writes the permanent constitution.
The SCAF’s moves were widely condemned by activists as amounting to a military coup.
Thousands of people are gathering in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to protest against a decision by the ruling military council to assume new powers.
The protests have been called by the Muslim Brotherhood, as it claims its candidate Mohammed Mursi won last weekend’s presidential election.
His rival, former PM Ahmed Shafiq, also says he has won.
As Egyptians voted, the generals dissolved parliament and claimed all legislative power for themselves.
Correspondents say the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) appears to be working on the assumption that Mohammed Mursi will win, and making moves designed to reduce or constrain the power of the president and entrench its own.
Activists have described the moves as a “military coup”.
Demonstrators have been chanting slogans against the military council, in the same square where huge protests last year led to the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.
Thousands of people are gathering in Cairo's Tahrir Square to protest against a decision by the ruling military council to assume new powers
Youth activists and liberals, many of whom refused to take part in the election run-off, are also involved in the protests.
“[The election is] not totally stolen, but they have put some obstacles to fully transfer the power of the revolution and the voice of the street, and the voice of the critical mass to rule the country,” said one protester.
There are plenty of Egyptians who seem to be reconciled to the prospect of the military continuing to exercise power because they fear that otherwise the Muslim Brotherhood might turn their secular society into something resembling the theocracy of Iran.
Earlier the Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory in the election.
A spokesman for its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) announced its chairman, Mohammed Mursi, had received 51.74%, compared with former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, who he said had 48.26%.
The Higher Presidential Election Commission (HPEC) is scheduled to announce the official results on Thursday, but it usually shares them with the candidates beforehand to give them a chance to make objections.
The results tally with what Egyptian media and independent observers have been reporting, and the FJP’s own calculations, which it released on Monday.
However, Ahmed Shafiq’s campaign vigorously denied its candidate had lost.
In a news conference shown on Egyptian television, representatives of Ahmed Shafiq’s campaign said the papers that Mohammed Mursi’s campaign referred to did not come officially from the HPEC, and insisted that Shafiq was ahead in the tally.
“We are willing to do whatever necessary at a legal level to prove he’s the next president,” Ahmed Shafiq campaign spokesman Karim Salem said.
Voting over the weekend to choose a successor to Hosni Mubarak, who was forced to step down by last year’s uprising, was overshadowed by two SCAF decrees.
The first ordered the immediate dissolution of parliament following Thursday’s Supreme Constitutional Court ruling that the law governing the recent elections for the lower house was unconstitutional because party members had been allowed to contest seats in the lower house reserved for independents.
Troops were deployed outside the parliament building before the decree was issued on Saturday to prevent MPs gaining access. The FJP and the ultraconservative Salafist Nour party dominate both chambers.
The second decree, which was published after the polls closed on Sunday, amended the March 2011 constitutional declaration and gave the generals complete control over legislation and military affairs until fresh parliamentary elections are held.
The SCAF will also play a significant role in running the 100-member assembly that will draft the country’s new constitution.
The new president – who will take office without the oversight of a parliament and without a permanent constitution to define his powers or duties – will be able to form and dismiss a government, ratify and reject laws, and declare war, but only with SCAF’s approval.