Saturday, March 25, 2023

Dozens feared killed in Nigeria church attack

Dozens of worshipers are feared dead in an attack on a Catholic church in Nigeria on Sunday.

Legislator Ogunmolasuyi Oluwole said the attackers targeted St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo state, as worshipers gathered at Pentecost on Sunday, gunmen opened fire and detonated explosives. He said that many children were also among the dead.

The Vatican said that Pope Francis “prays for the victims and for the country, who suffered the painful attack at the time of the festivities, and that he entrusted all to the Lord, so that God may send his soul to comfort them.”

Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu tweeted on Sunday: “It’s a Black Sunday in Owo. Our hearts are heavy.” “Our peace and tranquility have been attacked by the enemies of the people.”

The governor was away in Abuja to attend his party’s primary elections ahead of next year’s elections, but he suspended his activities and Ondo returned hours later with state security officials.

Francis Catholic Church In Ondo State, Northwest Nigeria, As Gunmen Opened Fire On Worshipers And Detonated Explosives, June 5, 2022.

Francis Catholic Church in Ondo State, northwest Nigeria, as gunmen opened fire on worshipers and detonated explosives, June 5, 2022.

Akeredolu said the attackers would be hunted down and prosecuted. He also urged residents to remain calm and not resort to retaliation. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

There was no immediate death toll, but Adelegbe Timilene, who represents Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, said at least 50 people were killed, while others said the figure would be higher. Video footage from the spot showed worshipers lying in a pool of blood and people around them mourning.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. While much of Nigeria is grappling with security issues, Ondo is widely known as one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria. However, the state has been caught in an increasingly violent conflict between farmers and herders.

“In the history of Ovo, we have never experienced such an ugly incident,” said MP Oluwole. “It’s become too much.”

People And Injured Victims Of The Sunday Shooting At St. Francis Catholic Church In Ondo State, Northwestern Nigeria, Gather At St. Louis Catholic Hospital On June 5, 2022.

People and injured victims of the Sunday shooting at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo State, northwestern Nigeria, gather at St. Louis Catholic Hospital on June 5, 2022.

The Christian Union of Nigeria condemned the attack, with spokesman Beo Oladezi saying, “What happened today in Owo is an unprovoked attack on innocent people worshiping God and for them. [the] Christian Union of Nigeria, this is reprehensible; this is unacceptable. We are tired of people going to church and getting killed.”

Church officials said many of the wounded were fighting for their lives in hospitals. Some residents started a blood donation drive to help them.

Nigeria is currently facing a wave of violence by armed gangs. A week ago, Bishop Samuel Kanu Uche of the Methodist Church of Nigeria was kidnapped on his way to the airport in southeastern Abia state.

He was released two days after the church raised about $240,000 and paid the kidnappers.

Timothy Obizu contributed to this report from Abuja. Some of the content came from The Associated Press.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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