6/5/2022 — Nigeria (International Christian Concern) — Gunmen burst into a Catholic Church in Nigeria on Sunday morning and opened fire on congregants and set off explosives, reportedly killing dozens of worshippers as they celebrated Mass on Pentecost Sunday.
The attack occurred on St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, in Ondo State, in southwestern Nigeria, which rarely sees this kind of violence more common north.
Disturbing footage of the scene obtained by International Christian Concern showed bodies lying between pews as worshippers wailed in mourning.
Legislator Adelegbe Timileyin, who represents the Owo area in Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, told local media outlets that at least 50 people had been killed. Local officials, however, had not yet released the total number killed or injured.
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu posted remarks on Twitter, saying, “This vile and satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years.… I appeal to our people to maintain calm and let the security agencies take charge … the perpetrators will never escape. We are after them. And I can assure you we will get them.”
While radical Fulani militants have terrorized the Middle Belt region of Nigeria over the past two decades, authorities are still investigating the source of Sunday’s attack.
ICC staff in Nigeria will provide further details as they come in.