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Morsi abandoned jihad - al Qaida

Al Qaida's leader has condemned the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi, but also blamed the ousted Egyptian leader for trying to "satisfy America" by abandoning jihad.

Ayman al-Zawahri was speaking in a 15-minute internet audio message posted late on Friday, his second this week.

He said Mr Morsi, toppled in a July 3 coup after millions took to the streets demanding his overthrow, was targeted by a conspiracy of secularists, Coptic Christians, and Egypt's "Americanised" army for being Islamist.

But he also condemned Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood for having "tried its best to satisfy America and the secularists" by relinquishing "jihad" usually invoked by al Qaida to mean armed struggle. Mr Morsi was Egypt's first freely elected president.

The message's authenticity could not be independently confirmed but was posted on a militant website commonly used by al Qaida.

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