BEIRUT

Middle East

Al-Qaeda leader opposes fighting Christians

FILE - This July 27, 2011, file image from a web posting by al-Qaida's media arm, as-Sahab, provided by IntelCenter, shows al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri. (AP Photo/IntelCenter, File)

CAIRO: Al-Qaeda's leader says that Egypt's majority Muslims should not fight their Christian compatriots, even though the head of their church supported a military coup that deposed the Islamist president.

In an audio message posted on militant websites early Saturday, Ayman al-Zawahri said it was not in the interest of Muslims to be engaged with the Christians because "we have to be busy with confronting the Americanized coup of [Gen. Abdel-Fattah] el-Sissi and establish an Islamic government instead."

El-Sissi is Egypt's defense minister who removed President Mohammad Morsi from power in a popularly backed July 3 coup.

 

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