Two Chadian soldiers and a civilian were killed when militants attacked army positions in northern Mali on Wednesday, an army source from the troubled west African nation told AFP.
"Jihadists attacked the positions of the Chadian army in Tessalit with heavy arms and car bombs. Two Chadian troops have been killed. The four suicide bombers were also killed on the spot and a civilian also died," the source told AFP.
"At present, the Chadian army and jihadists are exchanging gunfire."
An African source from the United Nations peacekeeping force stationed in the restive northern town of Kidal confirmed the death toll, and said the fighting was ongoing.
It was not immediately clear whether the soldiers and civilian were killed by the suicide bombers or heavy arms fire.