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Mali's Ansar Dine rebel group splits into two, indicating members are searching for way out

One wing of Mali's Ansar Dine rebel group has split off to create its own movement, saying that they want to negotiate a solution to the crisis in Mali.

The declaration indicates at least some of the members of the al-Qaida-linked group are searching for a way out of the extremist movement in the wake of French airstrikes.

In a statement published Thursday by RFI radio, former Ansar Dine leader Alghabass Ag Intalla says the new group will be called the Islamic Movement for the Azawad. Intalla said the group is looking for a "negotiated solution," adding his men are willing to fight Ansar Dine.

An elected official from Kidal who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal said, "They are running for the exits. “

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