7 Nov 2011

Nigerian forces hunt killers after bomb and gun attacks

9:41 am on 7 November 2011

Security forces in Nigeria are searching for the Islamist militants behind a weekend attack in the north that killed at least 65 people.

The Boko Haram Islamist sect has claimed responsibility for multiple gun and bomb attacks in the city of Damaturu.

Shocked residents are questioning how the gunmen were able to take over the city and wreak havoc with such apparent ease.

The attack reduced police stations, churches and mosques to smouldering rubble.

An emergency relief agency that counted bodies in the morgues gave a death toll of 65 although the official police toll is 53.

There was also a spate of bomb attacks in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the main base of Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language common in the north.

The United Nations Security Council has condemned the attacks and urged global measures to combat terrorism.