Attack on the Catholic Church in the state of Ondo in the southwest of Nigeria. According to unofficial data, up to 50 people could have died. – I pray for the victims – Pope Francis said.
According to witnesses, armed attackers burst into the Catholic Church of Saint Francis in the state of Ondo during the Sunday service, fired on its interior and detonated explosives, and then kidnapped a priest and several of the faithful.
A doctor from a hospital in the city of Owo reported at least 50 deaths. The identity and motives of the attackers have not yet been established. No data on the number of people killed or abducted in Sunday’s attack has been officially confirmed.
In a series of tweets, state governor Ondo Oluwarotimi Akeredolu described the attack as “despicable and satanic.” He called for peace, urging residents not to do justice themselves. “We will commit all available means to track down the attackers and force them to pay for their actions,” Akeredolu declared.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack, commenting that only people “from hell” could have done such a “vile deed”.
“No matter what, this country will never succumb to evil and wicked people,” wrote the president. The BBC recalls that Buhari is currently in the final year of his presidency. During it, he was criticized for failing to deal with security issues.
The Pope referred to the Sunday attack. – I am praying for the victims of this attack, painfully experienced during the Holy Mass – said Francis, quoted by Reuters.
In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is often the case of sectarian attacks and ransom kidnappings by armed gangs. These types of attacks, resulting in the death of many civilians, mainly take place in the north and northeast of the country, where a fundamentalist Islamic militia is operating. Boko Haram. In the south-west of the country, attacks on objects of worship have so far been rare.
In terms of denominations, Nigeria is divided almost equally into the Muslim North and the Christian South.
Main photo source: Reuters