JOS, Nigeria - Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram said on Tuesday it was behind attacks in volatile Plateau state this weekend that killed at least 65 people, but security forces blamed the violence on localized ethnic clashes.

"We praise God in this war for prophet Mohammed, we (Boko Haram) thank Allah for the successful attack in ... Plateau state on Christians and security men," an email from the group's spokesman Abul Qaqa said.

The email was sent to reporters in Boko Haram's home base in northeast Maiduguri from an address previously used by Qaqa.

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