A top leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood group says he and other senior members are departing Qatar, where they had sought refuge following the ouster of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and the crackdown on his supporters.

Amr Darrag says in a statement posted on his Facebook page Saturday that a number of the group's leaders are leaving Qatar following a request to do so by the Gulf monarchy. "We wanted to avoid embarrassing Qatar," he says.

Qatar was a close ally of Morsi, and relations between Cairo and Doha have been strained since his ouster, with Egypt accusing Qatar of backing the Brotherhood.

Many Brotherhood leaders fled Egypt after Morsi's overthrow, as security forces launched a sweeping crackdown on his supporters, killing hundreds in street clashes and jailing thousands.