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Buhari condemns killing of over 50 people at Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State

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At least 50 people were killed and others injured after gunmen attacked a Catholic church in Owo town in Ondo state during mass on Sunday, witnesses said.

A doctor at a hospital in Owo, a town in South Western part of Nigeria said that no fewer than 50 bodies had been moved to the FMC (Federal Medical Center) in Owo and to St. Louis Catholic Hospital.

One of the health workers on duty at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, where the casualties were taken to said over 50 people had been brought to the hospital.

“They are still bringing people to the hospital, some have been confirmed dead while some are still breathing. But for now, I can’t specify the number of those dead,” he said.

Police spokesperson for Ondo state, Funmilayo Ibukun Odunlami said only that there had been an incident at the Saint Francis Catholic Church in Owo and said police would issue a further statement soon.

“The CP (Commissioner of Police) is on his way to the scene to ascertain the cause of the incident. We have been hearing so many things about it but I will get back to you.”

Witnesses said the gunmen had fired at worshippers and detonated explosives at the church. Those killed included women and children.

President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack, calling it “heinous”. The identity and motive of the attackers were not immediately clear.

The President says only fiends from the nether region could have conceived and carried out such dastardly act, adding that eternal sorrow awaits them both on earth here, and ultimately in the hereafter.
President Buhari mourns the dead, and condoles with their families, the Catholic Church, and the Government of Ondo State, charging emergency agencies to swing into action and bring succour to the wounded.
“No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people, and darkness will never overcome light. Nigeria will eventually win,” the President says.
Africa’s most populous country has witnessed attacks and kidnappings for ransom by armed gangs, mostly in its northwest. Such attacks are rare in southwestern Nigeria.

Ondo state governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu cut short a trip to the capital Abuja and returned to Ondo after the attack.

“We shall commit every available resource to hunt down these assailants and make them pay,” he said in a statement.

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