ABUJA (Nigeria) -- Gunmen opened fire upon worshippers and detonated explosives in a Catholic Church in southwestern Nigeria, killing dozens, state lawmakers stated.
Ogunmolasuyi Oluwole, Legislator, said that the attackers attacked the St. Francis Catholic Church of Ondo state as worshippers were gathering on Pentecost Sunday. He said that many children were among the victims. Adelegbe Timileyin who represents Owo in Nigeria's lower legislative body said that the presiding priest was also abducted.
Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo Governor, tweeted Sunday: "Our hearts are heavy." "The enemies of the people have attacked our peace and tranquility."
Official death tolls were not released by authorities immediately. Timileyin stated that at least 50 people were killed. Others, however, put it higher. Video footage from the scene showed worshippers of churches lying in bloody pools while others wailed.
The motive behind the attack on the church was not immediately known. Although Nigeria is not without its security problems, Ondo is well-known as one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria. However, the state has been involved in violent conflicts between farmers and herders.
Nigeria's security forces didn't immediately respond to inquiries about the incident or whether there were any leads regarding suspects. Owo lies 345 km (215 miles) east Lagos.
Oluwole, a lawmaker, stated that "In the history Owo, there has never been such an ugly incident." "This is just too much."