Militants attacked a UN peacekeepers' base in the northern Mali town of Kidal on Friday, five peacekeepers and wounding 30 others, UN mission in Mali said.
"There is gunfire and mortar fire against the MINUSMA (UN peacemaking mission) camp," a spokesman for the separatist Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) said. Radouane Ag Mohamed Aly told Reuters that the attack involved a suicide car bomb.
A UN spokesman said the attack began at 6:45am (0645 GMT) and that there had been eight mortar shells as well as gunfire.
The base forms part of an attempt by the MINUSMA mission to keep the peace in Mali in the wake of a takeover of the north by militant groups in 2012, which was thwarted by a French-led intervention force that forced the militants out of key towns.
The UN mission has not stopped the violence, however, militant groups have expanded their attacks in recent months into other parts of Mali and beyond.
These have included an attack on a hotel in Mali's capital in November in which 20 people died, and one on Burkina Faso's capital in January in which 30 were killed.