CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's military leader says the army will not allow further violence after days of unrest claimed hundreds of lives.
Gen. Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi (AHB'-del fat-AH' el-SEE'-see) says the army "will not stand by silently watching the destruction of the country and the people."
The comments came during his first appearance since Wednesday's deadly crackdown on two protest encampments touched off violence across the country.
El-Sissi, who led the July 3 coup that toppled President Mohammed Morsi, says the military didn't seek power but is protecting "the people's will."
He also said Islamists must be included in the country's politics.
A military timetable calls for the nation's constitution to be amended and for presidential and parliamentary elections to be held in 2014.
El-Sissi appeared today at a gathering of top military commanders and police chiefs.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.