BAMAKO, Mali – A Mauritanian news agency reports that a spokesman for an al-Qaida-linked group in northern Mali wants to surrender.
The development suggests a further weakening within the Ansar Dine terror group three months after the French launched a military operation to oust the militants.
The Noukachott Information Agency, or ANI, posted the report late Wednesday. The ANI website is frequently used by al-Qaida's North African chapter to post messages. It was not possible to independently verify the claim.
The news agency reported that Sanda Ould Boumana of Mauritania has asked Mauritania's president to ensure he is extradited to his home country for trial.
For 10 months, Ansar Dine ruled a large swathe of northern Mali. The military operation has left many of the group's leaders in hiding or dead.