Nigeria: At Least 50 Feared Dead After Gunmen Open Fire in Catholic Church

The exact death toll of the attack is yet to be ascertained.

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Nigeria: At Least 50 Feared Dead After Gunmen Open Fire in Catholic Church
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At least fifty people, including women and children, are feared to have lost their lives after gunmen opened fire in a Catholic church in Nigeria's Ondo state on Sunday, 5 June.

The exact death toll of the massacre is yet to be ascertained. However, the police spokesperson for Ondo state, Funmilayo Ibukun Odunlami, indicated that the assailants shot at people outside and inside the church premises, Reuters reported.

Purported visuals of the incident captured church-goers lying in pools of blood.

The authorities are presently investigating the terror incident, and the identity and motive of the attackers are not yet known.

'Our Hearts Are Heavy': Ondo Governor

Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who visited the the site of the massacre, expressed anguish at the incident on Sunday and said, “Our peace and tranquility have been attacked by the enemies of the people.”

“Our hearts are heavy," Aljazeera quoted him as saying.

Saying that the attack was 'vile' and 'satanic', Akeredolu reportedly stated that the administration will commit all resources to "hunt down these assailants and make them pay".

The official, who was in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, said that he was travel back to Ondo.


50 Bodies Taken to Hospital, No Official Death Toll 

A health official at an Owo hospital reportedly indicated that no less that 50 bodies had been moved to Owo’s Federal Medical Centre and St Louis Catholic Hospital.

Speaking to Reuters, a doctor, who wished to remain anonymous as he was not permitted to speak to the media, The doctor, who declined to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the press, also said there was a need for blood donations to treat the injured.

However, the local authorities have not yet released an official death toll.

The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari called Sunday's events 'heinous' and a 'dastardly act.'

Meanwhile, according to a statement by the Vatican, Pope Francis expressed grief for the worshippers who were “painfully stricken in a moment of celebration”.

(With inputs from Aljazeera and Reuters.)

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Topics:  Church   Catholic Church   Church Attacks 

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