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Over 30 worshippers killed as gunmen attack Ondo church

The St Francis Catholic Church in Owo LGA of Ondo state was attacked by gunmen on Sunday.

The incident, which occurred on the church premises, left many dead and several others injured.

The gunmen were said to have detonated explosives in the church after which they proceeded to fire several shots at the congregation.

Children are believed to be among those killed in the attack.

A witness, Kehinde Ogunkorode, said the incident caused pandemonium in the area as residents, who were taken by surprise, ran for safety.

The worship centre is directly behind the palace of the Olowo of Owo.

“As we were about to end the service, we started hearing gunshots and dynamites. Some of us locked ourselves in for some time. When we came out, we saw corpses all over the floor, a priest in the church said.

The injured victims have been taken to St Louis Hospital and the Federal Medical Centre in Owo.

The casualty figure from the attack is put at over 30

The Government of Ondo state has vowed to hunt down assailants who attacked worshippers at St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, on Sunday.

Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,SAN, said he was deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo, describing the incident as satanic and “unexpected”

Richard Olatunde, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Akeredolu stated that the attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom ” who have enjoyed relative peace over the years.”

He vowed to make them pay.

The statement partly reads: “I have spoken to the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Most Reverend Jude Arogundade, who is presently on his way to Owo. Similarly, I have had to cut short my party’s national assignment in Abuja and visit Owo immediately.

“This is an unexpected development. I am shocked to say the least. Nevertheless, We shall commit every available resource to hunt down these assailants and make them pay. We shall never bow to the machinations of heartless elements in our resolves to rid our state of criminals.

“I commiserate with my people in Owo, particularly families of the those who lost their lives to this ugly and unfortunate attack. I extend my condolences to Olowo of Owo, Oba Gbadegesin Ogunoye as well as the Catholic Church.

“I urge our people to remain calm and vigilant. Do not take laws into your hands. I have spoken to the heads of the security agencies. I have equally been assured that security operatives would be deployed to monitor and restore normalcy to Owo kingdom.

“It is a black Sunday in Owo. Our hearts are heavy. Our peace and tranquility have been attacked by the enemies of the people. This is a personal loss, an attack on our dear state.”

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