Egypt's military rulers in the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) are considering handing control of the country to civilian authorities earlier than planned, Egypt's Al Ahram reported Sunday.
According to the report, the SCAF convened a Saturday meeting with its advisory council to discuss a wave of protests that erupted on January 25, the first anniversary of the revolution that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak.
Originally scheduled to turn control to the newly-elected president after elections in June, the military has come under tremendous popular pressure to relinquish power sooner.
The advisory council, created as a civilian face for the SCAF in December, is expected to present a proposal on the matter by Wednesday.
Hundreds of Egyptian protesters demanding an immediate end to military rule clashed on Sunday with rivals in civilian clothes outside central Cairo's state media building, the same place where 25 people were killed in a demonstration in October.
"Down with military rule," protesters chanted. The sound of gunshots rang through the air but it was unclear who was firing.
"Tell me council, who chose you? It's Mubarak's gang that appointed you," the crowd chanted, referring to the army council which has ruled Egypt since president Hosni Mubarak was ousted on February 11.
Dozens of protesters clashed with a group of people protesters described as "thugs" brought out to attack them, hurling stones at each other. There was no sign of police or troops intervening or securing the media building.
Egyptians have become increasingly frustrated by military rule, though many still see the army as a vital force for stability after months of political turmoil.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Jerusalem Post Annual Conference. Buy it now, Special offer. Come meet Israel's top leaders