School pupils play in Maiduguri Experimental School, a private nursery, primary and secondary school burnt by the Islamist group Boko Haram to keep children away from school.

Accra -

Fighting broke out between Nigerian security forces and suspected Boko Haram Islamists in the sect's stronghold in northern Nigeria on Monday, coming on the heels of deadly weekend attacks that left at least 10 dead, according to local media reports.

A gun battle ensued between joint security forces and armed men after explosives went off in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, said the Nigerian Premium Times.

Casualty figures were not immediately available.

Separately, at least two persons were reportedly killed when a bomb exploded in the city of Kano, in north-western Kano state, during Monday's morning rush hour, the Nigerian Vanguard news site reported.

The events come as at least 10 people were killed and another two policemen were shot when armed men attacked churches and burnt homes in a string of attacks in Borno state on Sunday.

Gunmen, suspected to belong to the extremist Boko Haram sect, slit the throats of about 10 people on Sunday in Chibok town of Borno state.

“The attackers (chanted) 'Allahu Akbar,' which made us suspect they are Boko Haram,” Vanguard newspaper quoted a local government official speaking on condition of anonymity.

Chibok has a large Christian population, while Boko Haram publicly opposes Western lifestyles and aims at establishing sharia law in all of northern Nigeria.

In separate attacks, about 50 gunmen in cars and on motorcycles opened fire on police, burning security stations and churches in Gamboru Ngala, near Nigeria's border with Cameroon.

Boko Haram has killed an estimated 1,400 people, mostly in attacks on Christian and Muslim celebrations, since it started its campaign against the central government and Western lifestyles in 2010. - Sapa-dpa