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Security Forces Battle Militants in Northern Nigeria

Police say Islamic fundamentalists attacked security forces in northeastern Nigeria on Monday, a day after more than 50 people were killed in Bauchi state.

Security forces have been deployed across northern Nigeria to stem the spread of clashes between the police and Islamic militants. At least one person was killed when radical Muslim groups attacked a police station and a security patrol in the northeastern states of Yobe and Borno.

Dozens of militants attacked a police station in Bauchi on Sunday following the arrest of some of their leaders. The police and army responded swiftly and raided neighborhoods to arrest those responsible.

The Bauchi state government imposed a night time curfew. A police spokesman in Bauchi, Mohammed Barau, told VOA the curfew was a precautionary measure and that the situation in Bauchi was under control.

"It is just a measure to sustain the peace that has returned," he said. "That is why if you look at it, it is from nine o'clock in the night to six o'clock in the morning. And in fact there is nothing as far as that curfew is concerned. It is just to strengthen the security measures. Everything is under control."

Nigerian newspapers report at least 200 people were killed and many others seriously injured in Sunday's clashes.

The Boko Haram group, sometimes called the Nigerian Taliban, is believed to be behind the attacks. The Islamic sect is opposed to Western culture, and wants to set up a strict Islamic state across all of the Muslim-dominated north.

Nigeria is roughly split between Christians and Muslims and periodic clashes between the two populations have left thousands dead in recent years.

Hundreds died in neighboring Jos, the capital of Plateau state, last November when municipal elections degenerated into bloody clashes.