Bamako - The Malian government has denied a journalist was killed in the northern town of Gao, which has been held by Islamists for nearly nine months.
"The information is wrong, Boul Kader Toure is alive and we are happy," the government said in a statement late on Sunday.
The government had on Saturday denounced the reported killing as a "cowardly and odious assassination".
Sema Maiga, a deputy of Gao's mayor, had said the Islamists beat local journalist Kader Toure to death after accusing him of "working for the enemy", adding that residents then "killed an Islamist chief called Alioune Toure".
Gao has been under the control of Islamist militants from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad (Mujao) who imposed a harsh form of Islamic law that included the amputation of the hands of thieves.
An official from Gao told AFP that the Islamist chief had been beaten up badly by angry residents but had survived.