At least one Nigerian peacekeeper is said to have been injured in an attack by suspected jihadists on a United Nations mission camp in Timbuktu on Friday, a source told the AFP.
The attackers, about seven, drove up to the entrance of the UN base in the former Hotel Palmeraie at about 6:30 local time and detonated their vehicle, a UN spokesperson told the Reuters news agency.
The former Hotel is said to be exclusively occupied by a Nigerian Police contingent.
Military sources said a gun battle was still raging late Friday morning.
A Malian army checkpoint in the Kabara neighbourhood near the airport was also attacked by gunmen Friday morning.
It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties.
A Malian military source told the AFP Minusma and Malian forces were jointly fighting off the attackers.
In November 2015, two Guinean peacekeepers and a civilian were killed in a rocket attacks on a UN camp in Kidal.
Northern Mali in March 2012 fell under the control of extremist groups but an international military intervention in January 2013 has largely driven out many of the jihadists.