Security Operatives Recover Explosives After Massacre in Nigerian Catholic Church

Security Operatives Recover Explosives After Massacre in Nigerian Catholic Church (News Central TV)

Security Operatives in Nigeria have recovered unexploded improvised explosive devices and shells from AK-47 ammunition following the attack on a catholic church in Owo, Ondo State, Southwest Nigeria.

At least 50 people including children were killed, according to media reports, during the attack on St Francis Catholic Church in the town of Owo, which took place during Sunday mass as worshippers were celebrating the Christian holiday of Pentecost. 

“Some of the gunmen disguised as congregants, while other armed men who had positioned themselves around the church premises from different directions, fired into the church,” national police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi said in a statement.

He stated that the assailants’ escape vehicle had been recovered. Its owner was assisting with the investigation.

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Inside the church, blood streaks on the floors and walls, a broken lectern and pew, plaster debris and abandoned items such as shoes and a well-thumbed Bible covered in shards of glass attested to the violence.

“Immediately they entered and started firing everywhere, so many people,” said Alex Michael, who was shot in the leg while protecting his children by hiding them under chairs. He appeared dazed as he sat on his hospital bed.

Other survivors had limbs wrapped in bloodstained bandages. One man writhed and moaned on his bed while a woman wept as she embraced her brother. A 15-year-old victim lay silently with a drip in his hand.

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Dr Samuel Aluko, a registrar at the hospital, said 27 adult victims were receiving treatment for a wide range of injuries, some life-threatening. One woman lost both legs.

Owo is located in Ondo State in southwest Nigeria, a region of the country that is not prone to violent religious conflict. Authorities have said nothing about the attackers’ identities or motivations.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, the Pope were among those who condemned the attack. Ondo State Governor Arakunrin Akeredolu directed on Monday that flags be flown at half-mast for seven days.

Both Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former Lagos State governor Bola Tinubu, the frontrunners in the ruling party’s primaries to choose its presidential candidate for next year, paid a visit to the church.

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Many businesses in town remained closed. Security forces patrolled the streets, and helicopters flew overhead.

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