Taliban demands end to Egypt violence

Leaders of the Afghan Taliban are calling for an end to the violence in Egypt, demanding the military end its "inhumane and unethical action" against government protesters in the country. 

In a statement posted on its website Friday, members of the Taliban, or "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," demanded Egyptian military chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi "stop spilling the blood of innocent women, children and elderly" in its crackdown on supporters of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, the nation's first freely elected president.

Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government on July 3 were pushed out by al-Sisi's forces and replaced by an interim government led by the country's military.  

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Egypt "must pave the way for the return of constitutionally elected president to stop the situation from spiraling further out of control," according to the statement. 

Further, Taliban leaders are calling upon the United Nations and regional Arab powers to "take practical steps to the best of their abilities in order to avoid the arrest and bloodshed of more innocent people." 

"If the situation remains as is, not only will it harm the people and nation of Egypt but it shall have an adverse effect both regionally and globally," according to the Taliban statement. 

On Friday, Morsi backers launched another series of mass protests, dubbed by Muslim Brotherhood backers as a "day of rage" against interim Egyptian government, led by al-Sisi and the military.  

National Security Adviser Susan Rice briefed President Obama on the latest wave of protests, as tens of thousands of Morsi backers flooded the streets of Cairo in defiance of the state of emergency implemented by the country's interim government. 

The new round of protests comes after Egyptian forces moved in on a number of protest sites in Cairo on Wednesday to flush out supporters of Morsi who had been occupying the sites for the past several days. 

At least 525 people, including 43 members of the police forces, were killed in Wednesday's raids against the encampments of protesters who oppose Morsi's removal. 

Secretary of State John Kerry blasted the military's “deplorable” crackdown as a “serious blow” to peace and democracy during a five-minute declaration at State Department press briefing during the day of the attack. 

Obama has already canceled deliveries of F-16 fighters to the North African country, as well as a large-scale military exercise between American and Egyptian forces, known as Bright Star, in response to the ongoing violence.