Witnesses said the fire appeared to have started after a car was set alight near the building [Al Jazeera]

Former Egyptian police officers protesting outside the interior ministry in Cairo have set fire to an adjacent administration building, a security official told the AFP news agency.

Wednesday's fire caused some damage to the interior ministry building, sources said. Four protesters were also injured, said Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from Cairo. The injuries were caused by the blaze and gunfire.

"The protesters were former members of the police, suspended from the force and asking for their jobs back," she said

"They set fire to five police cars and private cars outside the ministry. The army began firing warning shots in the air and the protestors then began setting the administrative building of the ministry on fire."

The administration building is used to store criminal records and other personal details of Egyptians.

The interior ministry put the number of protesters at 500 but other sources said as many as 1,000 protested.

Tadros said the Egyptian military had blocked off access to the area as "smoke continues to billow from the building". She reported that the situation was calm.

Soldiers who remain deployed in the heart of the capital in the wake of the 18-day uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak's government put the fire out and there were no reported casualties, the Egyptian security official told AFP.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies