A woman talks with security forces providing security for a march in support of a recent military coup, in Bamako, Mali Wednesday, March 28, 2012.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The leader of a Tuareg separatist movement in northern Mali has denied reports that a deal the group signed with an Islamic rebel faction to work toward creation of an Islamic state in the region is off.
Bilal Ag Cherif, the secretary-general of the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or NMLA, said Friday his group is still bound by an in-principle agreement signed Saturday with the Islamic group Ansar Dine, and that discussions are ongoing.
Members of the NMLA outside Mali claimed Thursday that the deal was off, saying the movement was secular and would never accept the imposition of Shariah law.
Ag Cherif said they perhaps do not understand the reality of what was happening on the ground.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.