Security sources in Mali have said that eight Islamist fighters have been killed in the northern part of the country following a gun battle between a pro-government militia and fighters from the Macina Liberation Front.
According to the sources, the clashes began on Saturday in Gourma Rharous village in the Timbuktu region, which has long been plagued by Islamist militants.
Reasons behind the violent confrontation still remain unclear.
Mali has witnessed violence linked to militant activity in its northern region despite various military interventions.
The implementation of a peace deal between the government and Tuareg separatists has failed to prevent high-profile attacks in the capital Bamako, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
Following the wave of violence, UN chief Ban Ki-moon recently asked the Security Council to add over 2500 peacekeepers to the peacekeeping mission in the country.
At the end of last month, two UN sites were targeted by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, claiming the lives of four civilians including that of a Chinese peacekeeper.
In 2013, French forces intervened to drive back the militants but has proved difficult to prevent the staging of deadly attacks.