Nigeria: Attack on a church kills dozens of people who were there to worship

 A doctor and an authority have confirmed that dozens of people were killed in an attack on a Catholic church in southwestern Nigeria. 

As parishioners assembled at the St Francis Catholic Church in Ondo state on Sunday, gunmen opened fire and exploded explosives, according to politician Ogunmolasuyi Oluwole. 

Many children were among the deceased, according to Oluwole, who visited the scene as well as the hospital in Owo, where many of the injured were being treated. 

At least 50 persons were killed in the incident, according to Adelegbe Timileyin, who represents Owo in Nigeria's lower legislative chamber. 

According to the Reuters news agency, a doctor at a hospital in Owo said no less than 50 bodies had been transferred to Owo's Federal Medical Centre and St Louis Catholic Hospital. 

An official death toll has yet to be released by authorities. The incident on Sunday was not claimed by any group. 

Churchgoers were seen laying in pools of blood while those around them sobbed in videos that appeared to be from the scene of the attack. 

'Attack without provocation' 

After the "unprovoked attack and slaughter of innocent people in Owo," Ondo Governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said he was returning to the state from Abuja. 

"We will devote every available resource to tracking down and punishing these criminals," he said in a statement, calling the attack "vile and diabolical." 

While much of Nigeria has struggled with security, Ondo is usually regarded as one of the most stable states in the country. 

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has denounced the "heinous slaughter of worshippers."

"This country will never yield to evil and wicked people, and darkness will never triumph over light." In a statement, the president's office stated, "Nigeria will finally win." 

Pope Francis was believed to be praying for the victims of the incident, who were "painfully struck in a moment of celebration," according to the Vatican. 

The pope had been told of the attack, according to the Vatican statement, and was awaiting further information. 

The death toll, according to state police spokeswoman Ibukun Odunlami, is yet unknown. "It is still too early to say how many individuals were murdered." However, several worshippers were killed, and others were injured in the attack." 

Armed gangs have attacked and kidnapped for ransom in Africa's most populous country, especially in the northwest. In southern Nigeria, such attacks are uncommon. 

The state's Catholic administration confirmed the church attack, but refuted allegations on social media that the bishop and priests had been kidnapped.


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