At least fifty people, including women and children, have been killed as a result of an attack on a Catholic church in southwest Nigeria that took place during Sunday service.
At the St. Francis Catholic Church in the town of Owo, local news sites reported that gunmen opened fire on worshippers and exploded explosives inside the building.
The attackers’ identities and motivations are unknown.
“It is so sad that while the Holy Mass was going on, unknown gunmen attacked St Francis Catholic Church… leaving many feared dead and many others injured and the church violated,” Reverend Augustine Ikwu said.
Reverend Ikwu shared the news that the bishop and the priests serving the parish had emerged unscathed from the assault.
Adelegbe Timileyin, who represents the Owo district in Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, stated that the presiding priest had been kidnapped.
According to Reuters reports, at least 50 dead people have been taken into both of the city’s hospitals as a result of the attack.
I want to express my condolences to those who lost their dear ones to this gruesome murder. This is a great massacre.
Our people in Ondo state will not let down their guard. This will not happen again. I have urged the Heads of Security agencies to take all necessary steps. pic.twitter.com/OpDqsZ7Zfg
— Arakunrin Akeredolu (@RotimiAkeredolu) June 5, 2022
In addition, the doctor, who did not wish to reveal his identity since he was not permitted to speak to the media, stated that there was a requirement for blood donations in order to treat the injured.
The attack was described as “heinous” by President Muhammadu Buhari, who issued a condemnation of the attack.
Vatican officials said Pope Francis was praying for the victims, who had been “painfully hit in a moment of celebration.”
The victims had been described as having been “struck in a moment of rejoicing.”
In the country’s north-eastern region, an Islamist insurgency is being fought, while in the country’s north-western region, armed gangs are responsible for attacks and kidnappings for ransom.