DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — One of the three extremist groups being driven back in northern Mali by French-led forces says its fighters and leader, Iyad Ag Ghali, are fine and determined to keep attacking.
In its statement published this week on Mauritanian website Sahara Media, Ansar Dine said: "Even if only sticks remain with us, we will fight you with them."
For 10 months, Ansar Dine ruled a large swathe of northern Mali. In January, France launched a military intervention and removed the group from the main cities in the north, including Kidal, where Ag Ghali was based.
The French have since killed Abou Zeid, a major commander of the local al-Qaida affiliate, raising questions about the whereabouts of other leaders, including Ag Ghali.