50 People Dead after ‘Satanic Attack’ on Catholic Church
'Vile' attack in Nigeria saw explosives being used
At least fifty people are dead after shooters opened fire on a Catholic Church in Nigeria on Sunday, in what was described as a “satanic attack.”
The assailants used explosives and firearms in the attack, which left women and children dead, Funmilayo Ibukun Odunlami, a spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force’s command in Ondo state, told media outlets.
The shooters also allegedly took the St. Francis Xavier priest hostage, and authorities said that his whereabouts were not yet unknown.
“Some lives were lost, and some sustained varying degrees of injuries,” Odunlami told ABC News on Sunday.
Police do not yet have the full estimate of the number of casualties in the “vile” attack.
As The Epoch Times reported:
Health officials told the broadcaster that at least 35 people died, and their bodies were transported to a local hospital on Sunday.
But local doctors told the Reuters news agency that at least 50 people died.
Ondo state governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu wrote on Twitter that the attack was “vile and satanic.”
“I am deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo, worshiping at the St. Francis Catholic Church, Today,” he wrote.
“The vile & satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years.”
No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
In previous years, the Islamist terrorist organization, Boko Haram, has targeted churches in northern Nigeria.
“This is an unexpected development. I am shocked to say the least,” Akeredolu also wrote.
“Nevertheless, We shall commit every available resource to hunt down these assailants and make them pay.”
“We shall never bow to the machinations of heartless elements in our resolves to rid our state of criminals,” Akeredolu also wrote.
Rev. Fr. Andrew Abayomi, a priest at the church, recalled that the service was about to end before gunshots rang out.
“We hid inside the church, but some people had left when the attack happened,” Abayomi told reporters.
“We locked ourselves in the church for 20 minutes. When we heard that they had left, we opened the church and rushed victims to the hospital.”
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari also issued a statement in response to the attack, expressing condolences to the victims’ families.
“No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people, and darkness will never overcome light,” he said.,
“Nigeria will eventually win,” he said.
The attack comes about two months after a stampede at a Nigerian church fair left at least 31 dead in late March.