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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Nigeria Suspects Islamic State Of Killing 40 In Catholic Church

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Nigerian officials suspect rebel group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) carried out a massacre at a Catholic church on Sunday, killing 40 people, Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said on Thursday.

Francis Catholic Church in Owo, southwestern Ondo state, during Sunday’s Pentecost Mass, assailants armed with AK-47 rifles and explosives attacked a congregation, forcing them to flee.

“We have been able to see the footprints of ISWAP in the gruesome attack in Owo and we are behind them. Our security agencies are looking for them and we will bring them to justice,” Aregbesola told reporters in the capital Abuja.

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Authorities had previously not commented on the identity or motive of the killers.

ISWAP, operating mainly in northeastern Nigeria and neighboring Chad, is one of two major Islamist insurgent groups that have been fighting each other and the Nigerian military for years. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced.

Ondo State is far from ISWAP’s usual area of ​​operation.

State Governor Arakunrin Akeredolu on Thursday gave new casualties figures. He said a total of 127 people were affected by the attack on the cathedral, of whom 40 had died, 61 were still in hospital and 26 had been discharged.

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Earlier, an official of the National Emergency Management Agency had reported 22 deaths. Akeredolu said the new casualty figures were compiled from reports from several hospitals, including private ones.

He said the state government would provide land for the mass funeral of the victims but did not specify when it would happen.

“We will have a memorial park where those killed in the attack will be buried,” he said addressing Catholic priests who were on a mourning tour.

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

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