At least three Mali soldiers were killed and five wounded Sunday in a suspected jihadist attack on an army camp in the far north of the country, the Malian military said.
The outpost in Bambara Maoude, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the city of Timbuktu "was the object at about 0500 GMT of a terrorist attack," the military said on Twitter.
"During this attack, we regret to report a provisional toll of three dead, five wounded, together with material damage," it said.
"The wounded were airlifted to Sevare... the outpost remains under the control of the armed forces."
"Three of our men fell Sunday during a jihadist attack in Bambara Maoude," a military official told AFP from Timbuktu earlier.
A local official confirmed the toll of three soldiers dead and said two more were missing.
According to another local official, "the terrorists left, taking vehicles and military equipment with them... together with the bodies of two of their comrades."
The attack is the latest in a long series of deadly incidents in Mali's north, where French forces said Friday they had killed about 50 jihadists so far this month.
Earlier this month 40 people, including nine soldiers, died in a spate of attacks in central Mali, with most of the deaths apparently caused by inter-ethnic violence which also plagues the country.