Security forces fought Monday with several thousand protesters in Tahrir Square in the third straight day of violence over demands that the military set a date for turning power over to civilians.

Egypt's army-appointed government handed in its resignation Monday in what the protesters took as a gesture toward addressing their complaints. "God is great!" they shouted upon hearing the news.

Protesters vowed to remain in the streets despite violence that has killed 24 people before parliamentary elections that will begin Nov. 28 and continue for months.

"My feeling is that we will see a lot of bloodshed before the military council realizes they are leading the country on the wrong track," says Abdel Gameed El Mehelmy of the National Association for Change, a group of Egyptians from across the political spectrum.

Demonstrators demanded that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has been running the country since the ouster of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak, step aside and that a civilian body govern in its place until presidential elections - scheduled for 2013 or later.

Parliamentary elections are set to take place in three rounds, beginning next week. The Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, is likely to win the highest percentage of seats of any single party.

The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists converged on Tahrir Square on Friday to protest what they call an effort by the military to gain permanent power.

"It was muscle flexing before the election," says Jon Alterman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, based in Washington.

Many of the people engaged in clashes on Saturday and the following days were not Islamists, but liberals, activists and throngs of young men and women.

Egyptians don't know for whom they're voting or what the ballots will look like because practical aspects such as how to calculate election results were still being debated as of Sunday.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which gave the first revolution powerful muscle, has refused to take to the streets again, fearing the turmoil will derail elections it expects to dominate.

Throughout the day, young activists skirmished with black-clad police, hurling stones and firebombs and throwing back the tear gas canisters being fired by police into the square, which was the epicenter of the anti-Mubarak protest movement.

Sounds of gunfire crackled around the square, and a constant stream of injured protesters - bloodied from rubber bullets or overcome by gas - were brought into makeshift clinics set out on sidewalks, where volunteer doctors scrambled from patient to patient. According to the Health Ministry, at least 24 people have been killed and 1,750 wounded.

The military issued a statement carried by Egypt's state news agency that it deeply regrets the loss of life and has ordered the Justice Ministry to form a committee to investigate the violence. The military said it ordered security forces to take measures that would protect demonstrators, who have the right to peaceful protest.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United States was deeply concerned about the violence and urged restraint on all sides so Egypt could proceed with a timely transition to democracy.

Protesters were not in a conciliatory mood.

"We want the council to leave immediately, so we can continue our revolution, which the military sold out," said Mohammed Ali, a shoemaker among the protesters. "A civilian Cabinet from the square is what we want."

Source: The Associated Press