CAIRO -- Egyptian army troops waged a four-hour gun battle with protesters in southern Cairo today.
Security officials say the clash was sparked by a dispute over land on an island in the Nile. The military claims ownership of the land, but it was seized by residents amid the chaos that followed last year's ouster of authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak.
Three protesters were killed in the battle and seven others wounded.
The clashes broke out when troops moved in from the mainland to retake control of the plot. Troops arrested 15 protesters who had used metal barricades and burning tires to block an access road to the island.
Today's violence marks the first known street battle involving the army since President Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first civilian and freely elected leader, took office in late June.