At least 24 people were killed and 1,700 wounded in Cairo over the weekend in clashes between protesters and security forces in Tahrir Square, Egypt's Health Ministry said on Monday.

Clashes erupted on Monday morning between security forces and protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, rallying against the country's military rulers and demanding a rapid transition to civilian rule.

Thousands of protesters poured into Tahrir on Sunday, faced down by security forces, backed by military police.

Government forces used tear gas and batons to disperse the demonstrators. Activists say rubber bullets and shotguns were also used.

The scene was reminiscent of the popular revolt in the same place against the regime of former president Hosny Mubarak earlier this year.

Opposition groups have become more critical of the military rulers for allegedly dragging their feet on handing power over to an elected civil administration.

The violence came around a week before Egyptians go to the polls to elect a new parliament.