An Islamist suicide bomber on Friday attacked a camp of soldiers from Niger posted in troubled northeastern Mali, but the only casualty was the assailant, military sources said.
"Around 5:00 am (0500 GMT), a kamikaze in a car busted through the entrance to our military camp at Menaka. We fired our weapons and the kamikaze blew himself up," a Nigerien military source said.
"He is dead, but there were no victims among our ranks," the source added, stating that the Nigerien troops had gone on to "a state of alert".
Neighbouring Niger is among countries that have sent troops to Mali to help fight armed Islamists who seized control of the desert north of the west African country for several months last year, following a coup that caused turmoil in the capital Bamako.
A Malian military source in Menaka confirmed Friday's report. "Early today, a light-skinned kamikaze managed to get inside the camp for Nigerien troops at Menaka. The kamikaze blew himself up at the wheel of his vehicle and the Nigerien army hit back."
Jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb were driven out of Mali's northern towns in a joint operation by French and African military forces that began on January 11 and is still under way.
Residual groups of these fighters are no longer able to carry out coordinated assaults, but they are still capable of regular small-scale attacks, mainly against Malian and French soldiers.