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Catholic Bishops Shocked by Ondo Church Attack

Catholic bishops are shocked as gun men suspected to be terrorists have attacked a church in Owo, Ondo state leaving several worshipers and passersby dead.

Several others were also injured in the attack on St. Patrick Catholic Church while Sunday service was being rounded up.

The number of people who died or injured could not be immediately ascertained.

The gunmen opened gunfire on worshipers, including children and detonated explosive within the premises of the church before leaving.

Several residents had fled the town for safety as bodies of those killed or injured littered the premises of the church.

One of the priests in the church, Reverend Father Andrew Abayomi said the gunmen struck while the service was ending, and worshipers were leaving the church.

The cleric speaking on the BBC Yoruba service on Sunday said they locked those yet to leave inside the church amidst explosion and shooting at the worshipers from all directions.

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After 20 minutes, he said they opened the church after the gunmen had departed and started rushing those killed and injured to federal medical centre, Owo and other hospitals in the area.

To cope with those critically injured in the attack hospitals have called for blood donors.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu abandoning his trip to Abuja for the APC presidential primaries, condemned the attack, describing it as vile and satanic.

Security operatives had been deployed to the town in the wake of the attack.

Also, suspected terrorists have abducted a Catholic priest from a church at Obangede in Okehi local government area of Kogi state.

The cleric, Reverend Father Christopher Onolu, was taken away by the gunmen on Saturday night.

The gunmen after entering the vicarage, burgled a window of a room where the priest was sleeping and took him away.

Members of the church were only aware of the attack when they showed up in the church on Sunday morning for the first mass.

The attack was coming barely a week after gunmen abducted a member of the hydro electric power producing area development commission on his way to a mosque in Ogominani.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria has expressed shock at the suspected terrorists’ attack on a church at Owo in Ondo state.

They condemned the spilling of innocent blood in the house of god.

In the attack on St. Patrick Xavier church, suspected terrorists opened gunfire on worshipers, and detonated an improvised explosive device.

Unspecified number of worshipers and passersby were killed and injured in the attack.

The Catholic bishops in a statement by the president, Most Reverend Lucius Ugorji , says that God and the world is watching.

According to the bishops, nowhere is safe again in Nigeria, even the sacred precinct of a church.

They ask government to fish out the attackers and bring them to justice, warning that failure to do so might accelerate the descent of Nigeria into anarchy.

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