Several dead in Nigeria as gunmen attack Catholic church

Gunmen attacked a Catholic church in Ondo state, Nigeria, during mass on Sunday, killing several people, local media reported.

A doctor at a hospital in Owo, a town in the state in Nigeria’s south-west, told Reuters: “Several worshippers were brought in dead.”

Local media said gunmen had fired at worshippers and detonated explosives at the church.

Funmilayo Ibukun Odunlami, a police spokesperson for Ondo state, said: “There was an incident today at the St Francis Catholic church in Owo” and police would issue a statement soon.

Africa’s most populous country has witnessed attacks and kidnappings for ransom by armed gangs, mostly in its north-west. Such attacks are rare in south-western Nigeria.

The Ondo state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said he was heading back to the state from the capital, Abuja, after the “unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo”.

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