Dozens of people were killed in an attack on a Catholic church in Ondo state on Sunday morning.in southwestern Nigeria, as confirmed to Eph police. The first reports speak of at least 50 deaths.
“More than two dozen died according to what an emergency agency told us. We are working on the exact figure and will share the details as soon as possible,” she told Eph by phone the spokesman for the Police in the state, Funmilayo Odunlami.
According to Odunlami, security forces are trying to find out if the attack was carried out by armed men or by explosives.
“I am deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and murder of innocent people in Owo (town) while praying at St Francis Catholic Church today,” Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu said on Twitter. .
A worker at the federal hospital in Owo assured the local newspaper The Punch that more than 50 people had been taken to hospital after the attackperpetrated during Sunday mass.
“They continue to bring people to the hospital, some of them have been confirmed dead and others are still breathing, but at the moment, I cannot specify the number of deaths,” said the professional from the medical center.
However, as confirmed by medical sources to the portal Nigerian Tribunethe death toll is at least 50.
One of the parishioners, Kehinde Ogunkorode, explained to the Nigerian newspaper vanguard that he attack was carried out by at least five individuals and that there are children and women among the deceased.
“They invaded the church and started shooting,” Ogunkorode said, agreeing with the account of other witnesses from the British network’s affiliate. BBCwho confirmed that attackers opened fire indiscriminately against attendees before kidnapping a priest and other parishioners.
Likewise, Ogunkorode confirmed that the attackers detonated an explosive inside the church during the abduction of the religious, and shot passers-by who were in the vicinity before and after the assault. This is the first attack against a Catholic church in the south of the country, where the population is predominantly Christian.
Nigeria suffers from relentless bandit attacks and mass kidnappings for lucrative ransomsbut these usually occur in the center and northwest of the country, which makes this incident in the southwest of the country strange.
Recently, the southeast of the country has also been the scene of serious kidnappings and murders that the authorities attribute to separatists of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB, for its acronym in English), a group that advocates the secession of that territory.
Added to this insecurity is the jihadist threat that has plagued the northeast of the country since 2009, caused by the Boko Haram group and, since 2015, its faction ISWAP (Islamic State in West Africa Province).
(With information from EFE and Europa Press)
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