An army official says gunmen have attacked a military camp in western Mali about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the border with Mauritania.

Col. Souleymane Maiga, an army spokesman, said the attack on the camp near Nara village began at around 5 a.m. Saturday and that the gunmen exchanged shots with soldiers who responded.

Nara resident Foussein Keita said people were hiding in their homes after hearing automatic gunfire.

Maiga could not provide casualty information and said the assailants were unknown.

But a source in Mali's intelligence service, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the gunmen were Islamic militants from Ansar Dine, one of the groups that took control of northern Mali following a military coup in 2012.