Gunmen with explosives stormed a Catholic church and opened hearth in southwest Nigeria’s Ondo state on Sunday, killing “many” worshippers and wounding others, the federal government and police mentioned.
The violence at St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo city erupted in the course of the morning service in a uncommon assault within the southwest of Nigeria, the place jihadists and prison gangs function in different components of the nation.
Pope Francis mentioned in an announcement he had realized of the “dying of dozens of devoted”, many youngsters, in the course of the celebration of the Christian vacation of the Pentecost.
“Whereas the small print of the incident are being clarified, Pope Francis prays for the victims and for the nation,” he added.
No group claimed accountability for the assault.
The motives and the precise dying toll weren’t instantly clear, however President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the “heinous killing of worshippers”.
State police spokeswoman Ibukun Odunlami mentioned the gunmen attacked the church with explosives, leaving an unknown variety of worshippers useless.
“It is nonetheless untimely to say precisely how many individuals have been killed. However many worshippers misplaced their lives whereas others have been injured within the assault,” she informed AFP.
A witness, who gave his title as Abayomi, informed AFP no less than 20 worshippers had died within the assault.
“I used to be passing via the realm once I heard a loud explosion and gunshots contained in the church,” he mentioned.
He mentioned he noticed no less than 5 gunmen on the church premises earlier than he ran away for security.
Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu mentioned in an announcement it was a “vile and satanic assault” and appealed to the safety forces to trace down the assailants.
Gun and bomb assaults are uncommon in Ondo state and different components of the southwest, however Nigeria’s navy is battling a 12-year-old jihadist insurgency within the northeast, gangs within the northwest and separatist agitation within the southeast.
Components of northwest and north-central Nigeria have been more and more tormented by closely armed gangs who raid villages and goal communities and faculties for mass kidnapping assaults.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by IHNS workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)