U.N. officials in northern Mali say at least two people are dead and six others wounded after a demonstration in the town of Gao turned violent.

Olivier Salgado, the spokesman for the U.N. mission in Mali known as MINUSMA, said that a group of protesters attacked the U.N. mission base Tuesday with rocks and Molotov cocktails.

Salgado says the peacekeepers launched tear gas in response, though at least two witnesses told The Associated Press they saw live rounds fired.

The demonstrators had surrounded the base to protest a temporary security zone imposed by the troops over the weekend.

Last week, U.N. troops clashed with Tuareg separatists near the town, and the rebels subsequently said they were suspending cooperation with the U.N. mission.