France says its forces in Mali killed about 10 Islamist extremists on October 1, in what may have been the most deadly outbreak of fighting since a French-led force cleared northern Mali of extremists earlier this year.
Today's French Foreign Ministry statement says the soldiers "neutralised an isolated armed group of about 10 terrorists" on that day in the Douaya region, north of Timbuktu, the city where al Qaida-linked extremists were once based.
The French-led invasion began in January and ended in the spring after extremists who held the north were killed or dispersed. But in a sign of a continued presence, radicals fired mortar shells at Gao, in the north, on Monday.
France has reduced its military presence, but still has 3,200 forces in the west African country.