Car explosion in north Mali's Kidal kills 2; Islamic extremists attack checkpoint, enter Gao

A resident in the north Malian town of Kidal says a car exploded inside a garage, killing the driver and a security guard.

Mossa Ansary said the explosion on Thursday took place about 800 meters (875 yards) from a French military base. It was unclear if it was a suicide car bombing.

French and Chadian forces are patrolling the city of Kidal, though it remains unclear if the northern administrative capital is secure.

A Mali military spokesman says that late Wednesday Islamic extremists attacked a Gao checkpoint and have made their way into the city. Capt. Daouda Diarra said that fighters with the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa are trying to gain control of the mayor's office, but the army is trying to repel the attacks.