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Gunmen opened fireplace and set off explosives inside a Catholic Church in southwestern Nigeria Sunday, killing no less than 50 folks – together with kids – and injuring dozens extra earlier than escaping the scene, authorities stated.
Nigerian safety forces have been nonetheless searching down the attackers on Monday. Nobody has claimed duty for the assault on St. Francis Church within the city of Owo, although analysts imagine they might have come from elsewhere within the West African nation, which is suffering from violence from armed teams, kidnappers and extremists.
State Police Commissioner Oyeyemi Oyediran stated safety forces pursued the attackers, “but unfortunately, we could not catch up with them.”
“The attack is undoubtedly terrorist in nature, and the scale and brutality suggests it was carefully planned rather than impulsive,” Eric Humphery-Smith, senior Africa analyst at Verisk Maplecroft threat intelligence firm, informed The Related Press.
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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and different authorities officers visited the church Monday. A day earlier, he pledged that “we will keep standing against evil, and Nigeria will win.”
Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous nation with greater than 200 million folks, has grappled for over a decade with an insurgency within the northeast by Islamic extremist rebels of Boko Haram and its offshoot, the Islamic State West Africa Province. The extremists, who’ve killed greater than 35,000 folks by a U.N. depend, are combating to ascertain Shariah legislation and to cease Western training.
Sunday’s assault got here as worshippers have been celebrating the feast of Pentecost, an vital Catholic post-Easter vacation.
Many Nigerians expressed shock and anger over the assault in Owo, a small city of merchants and authorities staff round 31 miles from the Ondo state capital of Akure. The central location of the church raised questions as to how the gunmen bought there unnoticed.
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Employees on the Federal Medical Middle in Owo struggled to deal with scores of wounded from the assault. The Nigeria Medical Affiliation directed all accessible docs within the area to assist.
Mahamat Saleh Annadif, head of the United Nations Workplace for West Africa and the Sahel, stated he hopes “the perpetrators of this horrific terrorist act against a church will be swiftly apprehended and brought to justice.”
Pope Francis decried “this act of unspeakable violence” in a condolence telegram despatched by the Vatican’s secretary of state on his behalf to the Ondo bishop.
“His Holiness prays for the conversion of those blinded by hatred and violence so that they will choose instead the path of peace and righteousness,” it stated.
The Related Press contributed to this report.