It wasn't immediately clear what set off the armed clash between Tuareg rebels and blacks in Kidal, the BBC reported Friday.
Tuaregs are a lighter skinned Islamic ethnic group that briefly allied with al-Qaida as the terrorist group sought to establish control over northern Mali. The partnership crumbled when al-Qaida took control of the region.
When French forces intervened to beat back al-Qaida, Tuareg rebels were allowed to remain in Kidal but were supposed to disarm.
Tuaregs form a majority of the Kidal population.
The BBC said rebels opened fire on a group of blacks and killed one person. Black-owned shops in the town were burned.
Presidential elections have been scheduled in Mali for July 28 to re-establish civilian control after a 2012 military coup toppled the government and led to al-Qaida's rise in the north.