Terrorists has launched a gun and bomb attack at a Catholic Church in the southwest Nigeria on Sunday, 5th , June 2022, killing over 70 worshippers .
The attack was at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, at about 9.am according to residents and church leaders.
A priest, Andrew Abayomi narrated that as the worship service was coming to an end, the terrorists threw explosives and shot at the worshippers.
According to Abayomi, “ We were in worship mass when the terrorists attacked us . They shot at the congregation while breaking into the church and also threw explosives into the church building. Some of us hid inside the church as they shot randomly at us . This lasted for about 20 minutes “.
He said it would be difficult to give details of the number of persons killed and injured, as they were focusing on transferring the victims to hospital. Circulated videos showed the images of men, women and children laying down dead among the pews.
Some residents had claimed that some worshippers were abducted as well. It has been reported that one kidnapped victim was the presiding priest.
The governor of the state, Rotimi Akeredolu has cut short his national assignment in Abuja to visit the Owo community in the state. In his statement in his offical Twitter page, he expressed his grief over the recent happening.
I am deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo, worshiping at the St. Francis Catholic Church, Today.
The vile & satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years. pic.twitter.com/30fMbfnOxc
— Arakunrin Akeredolu (@RotimiAkeredolu) June 5, 2022
While no one immediately took responsibility for the attack, the Fulani herdsmen were suspected. This is because they are usually associated with killings and kidnappings in the northern Nigeria. The residents believed that the recent squabble with them over grazing bill implemented last year in the state could have warranted such diabolical act.
The president, Muhammadu Buhari, also condemned the act. He stated that “ No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people, and darkness will never overcome light,” he stated that “ Nigeria will eventually win”.
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