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  4. Over 50 dead, priest abducted as gunmen open fire, detonate explosives at Nigerian church

Over 50 dead, priest abducted as gunmen open fire, detonate explosives at Nigerian church

Authorities did not immediately release an official death toll. However, Adelegbe Timileyin, who represents the Owo area in Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, said at least 50 people had been killed, though others put the figure higher.

Vani Mehrotra Edited by: Vani Mehrotra @vani_mehrotra New Delhi Published on: June 06, 2022 6:37 IST
Nigeria church attack
Image Source : AP

A view of the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo Nigeria, Sunday, June 5, 2022

Highlights

  • The attackers targeted the St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo state
  • The incident happened just as the worshippers gathered on Pentecost Sunday
  • Among the dead were many children

More than 50 people were feared dead after gunmen opened fire on worshippers and detonated explosives at a Catholic church in southwestern Nigeria on Sunday. According to an official, the attackers targeted the St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo state just as the worshippers gathered on Pentecost Sunday. Among the dead were many children, he said.

The presiding priest was abducted as well, said Adelegbe Timileyin, who represents the Owo area in Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber.

Authorities did not immediately release an official death toll. However, Timileyin said at least 50 people had been killed, though others put the figure higher. 

Videos appearing to be from the scene of the attack showed church worshippers lying in pools of blood while people around them wailed.

Nigerian President blames 'friends for nether region'

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said “only fiends from the nether region could have conceived and carried out such dastardly act,” according to a statement from his spokesman.

“No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people, and darkness will never overcome light. Nigeria will eventually win,” said Buhari, who was elected after vowing to end Nigeria’s prolonged security crisis.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack on the church. 

While much of Nigeria has struggled with security issues, Ondo is widely known as one of Nigeria’s most peaceful states. The state, though, has been caught up in a rising violent conflict between farmers and herders.

(With inputs from AP)

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