CAIRO – Soldiers stormed an anti-military protest camp outside Egypt’s Cabinet building Friday, beating women with sticks and hurling chunks of concrete and glass onto protesters from the roof of the parliament. The resurgence of turmoil came only a day after millions voted in parliamentary elections.

At least three protesters were shot to death in the clashes, including a prominent Muslim cleric, activists said. The heavy-handed assault was apparently an attempt to clear out protesters who have been camped out in front of the building for three weeks demanding the ruling military leave power.

The mayhem came despite promises from the army-appointed prime minister that the protesters would not be cleared by force. The action threatened to spark a new round of violence after deadly clashes between youth and security forces in November that lasted for days and left more than 40 dead.

Several women protesters cowered on the pavement as military police beat them with truncheons and long sticks. Soldiers were seen dragging away another woman by her hair.

Plainclothes and uniformed security officers threw concrete and stones on protesters from atop the parliament building, according to state TV footage and videos and photos posted by protesters on social networking sites. Protesters threw firebombs and rocks at the security officers, setting afire part of the parliament building.