URGENT ¥¥¥ Explosion in Gao, northern Mali, hours after fighting: AFP

An explosion shook the largest city in northern Mali early Monday, hours after Islamist gunmen battled French and Malian troops following two straight days of suicide bombings.

Malian troops told an AFP correspondent that the sound of the blast appeared to have come from the north of Gao, possibly from the checkpoint guarding its northern entrance, the target of successive suicide attacks Friday and Saturday.