CAIRO - Clashes erupted between protesters and police in Cairo and two other Egyptian cities, killing two people and wounding hundreds in the biggest security challenge yet for the country's ruling generals days before scheduled elections.
In scenes reminiscent of the 18-day uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak from three decades of power in February, hundreds of youths chanted "The people want to topple the regime" as they rushed towards riot police, who fired rubber bullets and tear gas.
Protesters broke chunks of cement from pavements and hurled them at police in clashes in which police lost control of Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square twice in the day.
A blaze broke out around midnight at the huge Mogamma state administration building overlooking Tahrir.
As police fired round after round of tear gas at protesters near the interior ministry, closer to Tahrir protesters laid sheets of metal to block roads into the square.