Malian army repels attack on northern town of Gao

Mali's army has repulsed an attack by a group of Islamist rebels who slipped past army checkpoints to enter the northern Malian town of Gao, a military official said today.

The Malian army official said government forces had defeated the Islamists after more than two hours of intense fighting. The clashes took place after Gao residents reported a group of Islamists entering their neighbourhood.

No death toll was immediately available.