Officials said at least 50 people were killed after the shooter fired at a Catholic church in Nigeria on Sunday in what was called a “sneaky and demonic attack.”
The assailants used explosives and firearms in the attack, killing women and children, Funmilayo Ibukun Odunlami, commander of the Nigerian police in Ondo, told the media. The shooters also allegedly took the priest of St. Francis Xavier hostage, and officials said his whereabouts were unknown.
“Some lives were lost and some were injured to varying degrees,” Odung Lami told ABC News on Sunday. Police do not yet have a complete estimate of the number of casualties from the attack.
Health officials told broadcasters that at least 35 people had died and their bodies were taken to a local hospital on Sunday. However, local doctors told Reuters that at least 50 people had died.
Governor of Ondo, Arakunrin Orwarotimi Akeredor, wrote on Twitter that the attack was “sneaky and demonic.”
“I am deeply saddened by the provocative attacks and killings of the innocent people of Oo, who are worshiped at St. Francis’ Church today,” he says. I have written.. “A sneaky and demonic attack is a calculated attack on the peace-loving people of the Kingdom of Owo, who have enjoyed relatively peace for many years.”
Terrorist groups do not claim responsibility. Boko Haram, a Muslim terrorist organization, has targeted churches in northern Nigeria for the past few years.
“This is an unexpected development. It’s shocking to say the least. Nevertheless, we commit all the resources available to hunt down these perpetrators and get them to pay. We never succumb to the tactics of the ruthless element in our determination to get rid of the criminal’s condition, “writes Akeredre.
Rev. Fr. Church priest Andrew Abayomi remembered that worship was nearing the end before the ammunition rang.
“We hid in the church, but some people were gone when the attack happened,” Abayomi told reporters. “We were trapped in the church for 20 minutes. When we heard they left, we opened the church and rushed the victims to the hospital.”
Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari also issued a statement in response to the attack, expressing condolences to the victims’ families.
“No matter what, this country will never give in to the wicked people, and the darkness will never overcome the light. Nigeria will eventually win,” he said. Said..
The attack occurs about two months after Stampede at a church trade fair in Nigeria killed at least 31 people in late March.