Some of the gunmen who attacked a church full of worshippers in southwestern Nigeria on Sunday were disguised as congregants, police said.
Dozens of people, including women and children, were killed in the late-morning attack at St. Francis Catholic Church in the town of Owo in Ondo state, more than 200 miles northwest of Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, and over 200 miles southwest of Abuja, the Nigerian capital. The church was holding a service for Pentecost Sunday, a Christian holiday celebrated on the 50th day after Easter, when suddenly explosives detonated and gunshots rang out at around 11:30 a.m. local time, according to Olumuyiwa Adejobi, a spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force’s headquarters in Abuja.
“Further investigations revealed that 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,” Adejobi said in a statement on Monday night.
An unknown number of gunmen had approached the church during the service and began shooting at worshippers as they tried to flee, according to Funmilayo Ibukun Odunlami, a spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force’s command in Ondo state, adding that several gunmen were firing from inside the building.
A motive for the massacre was not immediately clear, as no group has claimed responsibility. Police have yet to identify the perpetrators or release the number of casualties.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: ABC News, Morgan Winsor