Gunmen Kill Church Worshippers During Sunday Service
The armed men entered St Francis Catholic church during a Sunday service. They fired into the congregation and then kidnapped a priest as well as some other church-goers, witnesses said.
Nigeria has experienced an upsurge in violence in recent months. Kidnappings and attacks have been reported across the vast country.
No figures for the numbers killed or abducted in Sunday’s violence have been confirmed.
But a doctor at a local hospital, said that “several worshippers were brought in dead”. After visiting the church and hospital, state lawmaker told the Press that children were among the dead.
In a series of tweets, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu called it a “vile and satanic attack” on innocent people . He appealed for calm urging people not to take the law into their own hands.
“The assailants will be hunted down and they will pay for their crimes,” he added in a message sent after being briefed at the scene.
“No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people,” President said in a statement. He is in the final year of his two-term presidency and has been criticised for failing to get to grips with the country’s security problems.
No-one has said that they were behind this attack, though violence by armed groups is worsening in the country. The incident is the first one to be reported in Ondo state.
One week ago the head of the Methodist Church was abducted together with two other clerics in the south-east of Nigeria. He was later freed with his companions after paying $240,000 (£190,000).
Two weeks ago, two Catholic priests were kidnapped in Katsina and they have not been released.
Gunmen targeted the vital rail link between Abuja and the northern city of Kaduna in March, killing nine people and kidnapping many others, out of which some are still being held.