French soldiers return from patrol in Sevare, some 620 kms north of Mali's capital Bamako.

A group of Malian fighters say they want talks to end the French-led offensive in the north, after splitting from the main rebels force.

The breakaway faction of Ansar al-Dine said in a statement it "rejected all forms of extremism and terrorism and was committed to fighting them".

Al Jazeera's Caroline Malone reports.