Egypt protest - AP - 21.11.2011
An Egyptian protester flashing the victory sign during clashes with Egyptian riot police in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 21, 2011. Photo by AP
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Egypt's military rulers apologized Thursday for the killing of protesters in central Cairo's Tahrir Square over the past five days.

"The [ruling] Supreme Council of the Armed Forces expresses deep sorrow and apology for the martyrdom of Egyptians [killed] in recent incidents in Tahrir," the junta said in a statement on its Facebook page.

Thirty-six people have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters demanding a swift transition to civilian rule, to the Health Ministry.

The council promised to act "swiftly and firmly" to prosecute all those involved in the violence.

The military has been ruling Egypt since a popular revolt unseated former president Hosni Mubarak in February.

Tens of thousands of protesters continued to crowd Tahrir Square and its surrounding streets in downtown Cairo on Wednesday night, announcing that they will stay until the Military Council sets a date for the transfer of power to civilian authority.

Continued protests signaled what some see as a rejection of a compromise struck between the country's ruling military and political leaders to speed up the transfer of power in Egypt.

According to an Al Jazeera television report on Thursday, the violence has led the interior minister Mansour el-Essawy, to propose postponing elections, which are due on November 28.

The report quoted unnamed sources. It was not immediately possible to verify the report.