TWO MALIAN soldiers have been killed and several people wounded in a suicide attack in northern Mali, officials say.
Several militants detonated their explosives as the patrol passed through a village near the city of Gao, Colonel Kassim Goita told Reuters news agency.
Fighting continues in the region as France has begun to withdraw some of its 4,000 soldiers.
The country intervened militarily in January to help the Malian army oust Islamist rebels from the north.
The al-Qaeda-linked militants took advantage of a coup in March 2012 to take control of the north of Mali, including major cities including Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu. They imposed a strict form of Islamic law in the area.
French and regional African troops stopped the rebels from marching on the capital, Bamako, and drove them out of northern cities and towns.