A Mali army spokesman says that at least two soldiers died in an explosion and another in an attack in the country's north.

Col. Souleymane Dembele said Thursday that an army vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device about 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Gao, killing two soldiers.

Kamisse Dicko, a resident in Timbuktu, said that another army vehicle came under attack Thursday by gunmen east of the city. Col. Dembele confirmed the attack but gave no further information.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible.

Al-Qaida-linked fighters, who took over the north in 2012 and were later driven out of strongholds, continue attacks. A peace accord was signed between Tuareg separatists, armed militias and the government in June.