The White House says the eruption of violence in Egypt should not stand in the way of elections and a rapid transition to democracy.
Spokesman Jay Carney says the U.S. is deeply concerned about the violence and is calling for restraint on all sides. He says despite the clashes between security forces and protesters, Egypt must proceed with a timely transition to democracy.
The clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square are the most sustained challenge yet to Egypt's military rule since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February. The activists are demanding that the military hand over power to a civilian government.
Egypt is set to begin its first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections.