A day after Egyptian forces used tear gas and ammunition on marching protesters, the military has slapped overnight curfew in the area surrounding the defence ministry in the capital city Cairo.

Friday's protest saw one soldier reportedly killed and left hundreds of others wounded, forcing the military council to impose a curfew from 23:00 to 07:00 local time.

Scores of others were arrested which left the remaining protestors with no choice but to disperse. A few other diehard activists then marched to the famous Tahrir Square.

The authorities immediately launched legal proceedings against the arrested protesters drawn from a broad spectrum including the Muslim Brotherhood and the conservative Salafis. Reports suggest that the protestors ignored the warning of the military not to march to the ministry.

As the protestors pressed ahead, both sides hurled stones at each other and the violent clashes injured hundreds. The clashes went on for several hours.

"We are in the face of a plot to abort the revolution," said Gamal Saber, spokesperson of the recently disqualified presidential candidate Abu Ismail, reported Aljazeera.

Abu Ismail has been disqualified from the elections since his late mother allegedly possessed a dual Egypt-US citizenship.

According to the health ministry quoted by the BBC, one soldier was killed and at least 300 people have been wounded so far.

Weeks ahead of the presidential election in the country, people have been protesting against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

This will be the first presidential election after the autocratic Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year.

The activists accused the military for the attack on Wednesday which killed 20 people.

Friday's protest was to mark a demonstration against the ruling SCAF for failing to protect the activists' lives.

Reports also suggest that the protestors had weapons during Wednesday's bloody clashes. Alaa Abdel-Fatah, a democracy activist, was quoted by the Associated Press as tweeting: "The revolutionaries also fired live ammunition in the middle of residential streets. We have battled with the wrong people, and we have threatened souls secure in their houses."

The protestors are demanding a civilian government instead of a presidential election conducted by the ruling military.

Soldiers clash with protesters at Abbasiya square near Egypt's Defence Ministry in Cairo.Reuters
Army soldiers attend Friday prayers as they close the road to Abbasiya square near Egypt's Defence Ministry, in CairoReuters
Armoured military vehicles close the road to Abbasiya Square, near Egypt's Defence Ministry, in CairoReuters
A protester is seen standing over a banner with Arabic writing that reads, "Paradise in Shaa Allah" near army soldiers as they close the road to Abbasiya square near Egypt's Defence MinistryReuters
A boy looks on in front of army soldiers as they close the road to Abbasiya square near Egypt's Defence Ministry, in CairoReuters
A female protester stands in front of army soldiers as they close the road to Abbasiya square near Egypt's Defence Ministry, in CairoReuters
A protester walks in front of army soldiers as they close the road to Abbasiya square near Egypt's Defence Ministry, in CairoReuters
Protesters flee from tear gas during clashes at Abbasiya Square in CairoReuters
An army helicopter flies above a protester during clashes at Abbasiya Square in CairoReuters
Protesters throw stones at army soldiers during clashes at Abbasiya square near Egypt's Defence Ministry in CairoReuters
Armoured military vehicles close the road to Abbasiya square near Egypt's Defence Ministry, in CairoReuters
A bloodied protester is seen as protesters throw stones at army soldiers during clashes at Abbasiya square near Egypt's Defence Ministry, in CairoReuters