The dreaded Islamist sect Boko Haram said on Tuesday that it was behind the graveyard attacks in Plateau state last Sunday that killed at least 22 people including a Senator and a member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, but security forces blamed the violence on localised 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.

“We will continue to hunt for government officials wherever they are; they will have no peace again,” said the statement from the Islamist group that has carried out waves of assaults in the North.

The email was sent to reporters in Maiduguri from an address previously used by Qaqa.