MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) -- A statement attributed to a radical Islamist sect in Nigeria known as Boko Haram says the group launched attacks that left at least 58 dead including two lawmakers in a region violently divided by religion.
The statement obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press said the group was responsible for the attacks in Plateau state where authorities say hundreds of assailants stormed into about a dozen villages Saturday. It said the group would continue to attack government officials and Christians. It said Christians "will not know peace again" if they do not accept Islam.
The attacks occurred in a region of Nigeria's "middle belt" where the country's mostly Muslim north meets its predominantly Christian south.
Clashes between local Muslim and Christian communities there have left hundreds dead over the last couple of years.
Boko Haram is adding a new dimension to those tensions.