At least 50 people were killed and several others injured after gunmen attacked a Catholic church during Sunday mass, according to local media and a doctor at Ondo Governmental Hospital.
The Reuters news agency reported that I spoke with the doctor. The dead are said to have been taken to Federal Medical Center and St. Louis Catholic Hospital.
Pictures seen by VG from social media show several people lying dead on the church floor. The videos also show the victims of what may appear to be St. Francis Church in Ondo State in southwestern Nigeria.
It was said that armed men opened fire and threw explosives at the church. Many of the dead are said to be children. Adeligbe Temelin, who represents the district in the Nigerian National Assembly, said the church’s pastor had been kidnapped.
The BBC writes that, according to eyewitnesses, other churchgoers have also been kidnapped, not just the pastor.
Timileyin says at least 50 people were killed, a figure also reported by the Nigerian Tribune. Eyewitnesses reported at least 20 deaths. The authorities have not announced an official death toll so far.
President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack as abhorrent. It was not clear who was behind the attack.
The pope came out on Sunday and said he prayed for the victims of the attack, which he said was “painfully injured at the time of celebration”.
– cruel and diabolical
Rotimi Akridolo describes what happened as a “brutal and diabolical” attack on innocents, according to reports BBC.
A doctor at the local hospital told Reuters that “a number of churchgoers died upon arrival.”
The Governor of Ondo, Arakunrin Oluwartimi Akridolo, has returned from the capital, Abuja, after the “unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people in Oo”.
“We will use all available resources to track down these attackers and hold them to account,” he said in a statement.
Jihadist groups have attacked a number of churches in northern Nigeria, where the majority of the population is Muslim, but Ondo in the southwest has so far escaped the violence.
On May 24, NTB reported that jihadists killed 30 men in a revenge attack after a jihadist leader was killed in an air strike in Borno state in northeastern Nigeria, according to two military commanders.
The two sources said that jihadists affiliated with ISIS killed the men in Modu village on Saturday.
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