Hundreds of Egyptians were Friday taking part in a mass protest in Cairo's central Tahrir Square in a bid to pile pressure on the country's military rulers to expedite the transfer of power to an elected civilian administration dpa reported
A series of rallies were to be staged, taking protesters from outside mosques in Cairo, and its twin city Giza, to the iconic square after noon prayers, organizers said.
Military and security forces stayed away from Tahir Square for fear of sparking clashes with angry demonstrators. The square has been the site of deadly violence over the past year.
Around 60 opposition groups have announced their participation in Friday's protest, amid growing disenchantment with the results of the uprising that toppled former president Hosny Mubarak.
The opposition is sharply critical of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has been ruling Egypt since Mubarak's overthrow, saying it has blocked reforms and is tainted by human rights abuses.
On Thursday, dozens of activists began a protest against the slow-paced trials of former officials in the Mubarak regime, who have been charged in connection with the killing of more than 800 protesters.
A further 90 protesters have been killed by the police and the army in recent months, according to human rights advocates.