Mali militants have attacked United Nations military bases near the airport in Timbuktu.
The militants reportedly used a rocket and car bomb attack on French and UN soldiers.
UN mission confirmed that one of its peacekeepers had been killed, while the government said more than a dozen others, including many French soldiers, were wounded.
The Militants were said to have disguised as UN peacekeepers – in distinctive blue helmets and driving a vehicle marked with the UN logo.
In a statement, the Mali’s security ministry said dozens of rockets were fired by militants while two vehicles were also packed with explosives, and that one of the vehicles exploded while the other, bearing the UN symbol, was stopped.
The current attack is one among many by militants against UN peacekeepers and government forces in Mali, a former French colony which also has a French military presence.
A foreign security source the AFP news agency that the scale of the recent assault was “unprecedented” in Timbuktu.
The UN mission has more than 11,000 troops and 1,741 police in Mali, and is considered one of the UN’s most dangerous missions.
162 UN personnel had been killed in the five years since the mission began in 2013 following Tuareg separatist uprising.