State lawmakers stated that gunmen opened fire on worshippers in Nigeria and set off explosives at a Catholic Church in the southwestern part of Nigeria on Sunday. Several people were left feared dead.
According to legislator Ogunmolasuyi Oluwole, 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, stated 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.
According to his spokesperson, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari stated that only "fiends from the nether regions could have conceived of and executed such heinous act."
"No matter what, this nation will not give in to evil or wicked people, and light will never conquer darkness," Buhari said. Buhari was elected after promising to end Nigeria's long-running security crisis.
Pope Francis responded in Rome to the news of the attack.
"The attack on the church of Ondo in Nigeria and the deaths of many worshippers, including children, has been reported by the pope. The details are still being worked out, but Pope Francis prays for those who were hurt during the celebrations and entrusts them both with the Lord, so that he may console them." He said in a Vatican press release.
The motive behind the attack on the church was not immediately known. Although Nigerian security has been a problem for many, Ondo is regarded 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 attack or whether they have any leads regarding suspects. Owo lies 345 km (215 miles) east Lagos.
Oluwole, a lawmaker, stated that "in the history of Owo we have never experienced such a horrible incident." "This is just too much."