Two United Nations peacekeepers have been killed in a mortar attack in the far north of Mali.
The two Chadians were killed and 10 other peacekeepers were injured in the attack on the UN base at Agelhok at nightfall on Thursday, reports BBC.
Agelhok is close to Mali's border with Algeria. It's a staging post on a desert trade route, below a mountain hideout used by armed groups, including Islamists.
In eastern Mali earlier this week, the French military said paratroopers killed 30 people, in a gun battle close to the border with Niger.
They were described as jihadists in an area sheltering members of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.
The latest quarterly UN report on Mali describes a deterioration in security.
It says 141 Malian and UN security personnel were killed last year -twice as many as in 2016.
The north of Mali was occupied by Islamists in 2012. France intervened the following year and the UN sent peacekeepers.
Since then, fighting has spread to other parts of the country and to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.