Gunmen launched an assault on a Catholic church in Ondo state in Nigeria during mass on Sunday, killing more than 50 people in a “satanic attack”.
The attackers targeted the St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in the town of Owo as the worshipers gathered on Pentecost Sunday, according to local officials. They gunned down parishioners and detonated an explosive device, local media reported.
At least 50 bodies, including those of women and kids, were taken to two nearby hospitals.
Governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who visited the church and the hospital treating the injured, branded the “vile and satanic attack” as “a great massacre” that should not be allowed to happen again.
The identity or motives of the attackers is not yet known.
President Muhammadu Buhari called the attack “heinous”.
“No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people and darkness will never overcome light,” he said.
Calling the shooting a “gruesome murder”, Akeredolu urged people to “remain calm and vigilant”.
“Do not take laws into your hands,” he said. “I have spoken to the heads of the security agencies. I have equally been assured that security operatives would be deployed to monitor and restore normalcy to Owo kingdom.”
Akere dolu vowed to make the attackers “pay for their crimes”.
“Our people in Ondo state will not let down their guard,” he said. “This will not happen again. I have urged the Heads of Security agencies to take all necessary steps.”