URGENT ¥¥¥ Seven die in northern Mali clashes: military sources

Seven people, including a soldier and two civilians, were killed in clashes Sunday between the Malian army and Islamist militants in northern Mali's largest city of Gao, military sources said.

"A Malian soldier, four Islamists and two civilians were killed Sunday during exchanges of gunfire between the Malian army and Islamists," an African security source told AFP in Gao, after the Malian army earlier said it was carrying out a "clean-up" operation targeting militants who claimed an overnight attack on an army camp.