A suicide bomber in northern Mali drove a car bomb Tuesday at a checkpoint in the city of Kidal manned by Tuareg rebels supporting the French-led offensive against Islamist militants, a French military official said.
It was not immediately clear whether the suicide attack against the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) caused any other casualties but the blast was described by residents as a very powerful.
"The suicide attack targeted the checkpoint on the eastern side of Kidal which is manned by the MNLA," the French official told AFP in Gao, the main city in northern Mali.
Several other officials confirmed the blast was an attack following an initial report that it may have been a controlled explosion of ammunition seized from the Islamist insurgency.
Kidal lies close to 1,000 miles northeast of the Malian Bamako and the nearby Ifogha mountains has been a key hideout for Al Qaeda-linked fighters who were forced out of cities in the aftermath of France's January 11 intervention.