An Egyptian child stands next to poster of the Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where supporters have installed a camp and hold daily rallies at Nasr City, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Egypt's military-backed government has ordered the police to break up the sit-in protests by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, saying they pose an "unacceptable threat" to national security. Information Minister Dorreya Sharaf el-Din said in a televised statement Wednesday that the police are to end the demonstrations "within the law and the constitution." (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
CAIRO (AP) -- Al-Qaida's leader says the military coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is proof that Islamic rule cannot be established through democracy. And Ayman al-Zawahri (AY'-muhn ahl-ZWAH'-ree) is calling on Morsi's followers to abandon the ballot box in favor of armed resistance.
In a 15-minute audio message posted online late Friday, al-Zawahri also lashes out at the Egyptian military, the country's secular and liberal elites and the Coptic Christian minority, accusing them of conspiring against Morsi because he is an Islamist.
But he says Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood shares the blame, because it "tried its best to satisfy America and the secularists" by relinquishing "jihad."
Egypt's army ousted Morsi, the country's first democratically elected leader, on July 3 after days of mass protests demanding his removal. The coup has divided the nation into rival camps, with an array of liberal and secular Egyptians supporting the military's move and Morsi's supporters and Islamist allies rejecting it.
CAIRO (AP) -- A senior U.S. diplomat is meeting with officials on both sides of Egypt's political divide to try to head off any more bloodshed.
The effort by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns comes as Egypt's Interior Ministry issued a second warning to supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi to abandon their protest encampments. Burns met today with Egypt's interim president and vice president, and is also scheduled to meet with Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and its allies.
Egyptian authorities have outlined plans in recent days to break up the two main sit-ins by Morsi's supporters in a bid to end the political stalemate that has paralyzed the country since the military overthrew the Islamist leader on July 3.
Morsi's backers say they will not disperse until he is returned to power, setting the stage for a potential bloody showdown if security forces move in on the two main sites that are home to tens of thousands of protesters.
CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian police official says that if followers of ousted President Mohammed Morsi abandon their protest sit-ins, this will allow his Muslim Brotherhood group to have a normal role in the political process.
Saturday's televised remarks by Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel-Latif came as authorities announced plans to break up the two main Cairo sit-ins by erecting cordons to prevent people from entering them.
Morsi's backers, including his Muslim Brotherhood group, have vowed to continue protesting until he's reinstated.
"If you believe you are bringing victory to the Brotherhood (by pursuing the sit-ins), it is your safe and secure departure that will allow the Brotherhood to go back to its role in the political process," Abdel-Latif said.
Morsi was overthrown in a July 3 coup after millions demonstrated demanding his overthrow.