A Nigerian Muslim group formerly known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for series of bombings on Christmas Eve in Nigeria that left at least 38 people dead and sparked violent reprisals.

In a statement published on Tuesday on what is thought to be its website, the group claimed responsibility for the bombings in central Jos and two attacks on churches in Maiduguri.

Nigerian police immediately cast doubt on the claim, but if the claims are true, the attacks would mark the first time Boko Haram strikes outside of the country’s predominately Muslim north.

Many analysts have instead attributed the Christmas Eve bombings in Jos to the struggle for political and economic power in between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups in the region.

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