Gunmen opened fireplace on worshippers and detonated explosives at a Catholic church in southwestern Nigeria on Sunday, leaving dozens feared lifeless, state lawmakers stated.
The attackers focused the St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo state simply because the worshippers gathered on Pentecost Sunday, legislator Ogunmolasuyi Oluwole stated. Among the many lifeless have been many youngsters, he stated.
The presiding priest was kidnapped as properly, stated Adelegbe Timileyin, who represents the Owo space in Nigeria’s decrease legislative chamber.
“Our hearts are heavy,” Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu tweeted Sunday. “Our peace and tranquility have been attacked by the enemies of the folks.”
Authorities didn’t instantly launch an official dying toll. Timileyin stated at the very least 50 folks had been killed, although others put the determine increased. Movies showing to be from the scene of the assault confirmed church worshippers mendacity in swimming pools of blood whereas folks round them wailed.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari stated “solely fiends from the nether area might have conceived and carried out such dastardly act,” in line with a press release from his spokesman.
“It doesn’t matter what, this nation shall by no means give in to evil and depraved folks, and darkness won’t ever overcome gentle. Nigeria will ultimately win,” stated Buhari, who was elected after vowing to finish Nigeria’s extended safety disaster.
In Rome, Pope Francis responded to information of the assault.
“The pope has realized of the assault on the church in Ondo, Nigeria and the deaths of dozens of worshippers, many youngsters, through the celebration of Pentecost. Whereas the main points are being clarified, Pope Francis prays for the victims and the nation, painfully affected at a time of celebration, and entrusts them each to the Lord in order that he could ship his spirit to console them,” the pope stated in a press release issued by the Vatican press workplace.
It was not instantly clear who was behind the assault on the church. Whereas a lot of Nigeria has struggled with safety points, Ondo is broadly often known as certainly one of Nigeria’s most peaceable states. The state, although, has been caught up in a rising violent battle between farmers and herders.
Nigeria’s safety forces didn’t instantly reply to questions on how the assault occurred or if there are any leads about suspects. Owo is about 345 kilometers (215 miles) east of Lagos.
“Within the historical past of Owo, we have now by no means skilled such an unpleasant incident,” stated lawmaker Oluwole. “That is an excessive amount of.”