Nigeria was on Sunday, Jun. 7, thrown into a state of grief as a gang of yet to be identified gunmen attacked a church in Owo town of Ondo state, Southwest Nigeira, killing and injuring scores of worshippers including women and children.
The gunmen were said to have deployed dynamites which exploded within the sanctuary of a catholic church before they began to fire gunshots as worshippers, who were about to round up their service, began to run for dear lives.
An official at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, told our Premium Times reporter that about 23 bodies were brought to the town’s main hospital morgue – among them two were children.
The official, who craved anonymity said 28 survivors were also admitted and had been receiving medical attention.
“Of the number, 17 are females while 11 are males,” the official told Premium Times.
“They are relatively stable and are being attended to by general and orthopaedic surgeons at the hospital’s theatre.” He also said that 13 children were rushed in immediately after the incident, but two arrived at the hospital already dead. “The other 10 children are receiving treatment and are relatively stable,” the source said.
Local politician said victims figure nears 100.
Mr Ogunmolasuyi, the lawmaker representing Owo Constituency 1, said he visited the church and hospital to see the victims.
“It’s a very sad incident. Of course, it had already happened before I got there. I saw thousands of angry youths. It was barbaric, never experienced in the history of Ondo State,” he said.
“We should be looking at a casualty figure of between 70 and 100. I saw more than 20 people dead, especially children.
Scores of worshippers were killed and injured after gunmen attacked the church on Sunday morning.
Mr Ogunmolasuyi said he spoke with the parent of a survivor and was told that the attackers were herdsmen.ⓘ
“They were shooting and they also used dynamite,” he said.
“The governor has really worked on security in the state, which is why we never believed something like this will happen in Ondo.”
Premium Times spoke to a witness, named Toyin, who said “the terrorists attacked the church while the priest was rounding off proceedings of the service.”
“They first started by throwing in explosives into the church hall, which sent the worshipers scampering for safety,” she said.
“It was while they were running for safety that the attackers started shooting at them.
“It initially thought that the Reverend Father was kidnapped, but he was not kidnapped, he survived the attack.”
Similarly, governor of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu had also described the incident as “vile and satanic.”
Nigeria has become one of the unsafe countries in the world where mindless and unprovoked attacks of this manner occur almost every day across the country.