The Egyptian army descended on Cairo's Tahrir Square Monday to drive out protesters continuing a sit-in to denounce the country's interim military leadership and demand that former President Hosni Mubarak be prosecuted.
Television footage showed army and security forces marching onto the square and removing tents.
Egyptian protesters had said they would suspend their sit-in at the square during the Muslim month of Ramadan which started early Monday, but several activists remained
"Based on our belief that sit-ins are a means, and not a goal... the political parties and youth movements have decided to temporarily suspend their sit-in during the holy month of Ramadan," they said in a joint statement.
Activists have been occupying Tahrir Square, the epicentre of protests that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, since 8 July to demand retribution for those who died in the 18-day winter uprising in Cairo.
Twenty-six political parties and protest movements said on Saturday in a joint statement that their three-week sit-in had succeeded in achieving some of their demands, "pushing the Egyptian revolution a step forward".
Activists said they would return to the square to push for reforms once Ramadan is over.
Mubarak and 10 other defendants are scheduled to go on trial in Cairo this week, accused of graft and of ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising that led to Mubarak's resignation.