Owo Church Massacre: According to local sources, over fifty (50) people were killed when gunmen opened fire on parishioners as they attended Mass at a Catholic church in southwestern Nigeria on Sunday.
The attack on the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, was Nigeria’s bloodiest church attack in years, bringing the kind of violence usually witnessed in the country’s north to a generally tranquil part of Africa’s most populous country.
On Pentecost Sunday, dozens of people were gathering at the church when the tragedy occurred. According to authorities, at least four assailants assaulted the building.
It was the first time in recent years that a church in Ondo state had been attacked, bringing a new sense of insecurity to a state that had hitherto been spared the violence experienced elsewhere in Nigeria.
In a Press Release, President Muhammadu Buhari who promised to eradicate Nigeria’s insecurity issues described the Owo church massacre as “dastardly act.”
Below are some videos from the scene. (Warning: Viewers discretion is advised)
Eye witness’ quotes from FIJ on Ondo Church Massacre;
“The shooting started from outside the church compound. Then it got louder as they entered the church premises.”
“The men at the main entrance tried to close the doors. They were saying ‘dem done come o’.
“I quickly went over to my mother as the shooting started. We laid stretched on the ground, under the pew,”
“The bullets flew into the church from every direction. It was like a mass shooting with multiple gunmen. People died all around me; I still cannot believe I am alive.”
“No one saw the faces of shooters, so we can not even say who did this for sure. They did not speak a word, the shooters simply shot at us silently. When they were done, they left. They did not abduct anyone.”
Another Eyewitness of the Owo Church Massacre said, “the shooting started from the marketplace nearby where they wasted some souls. Then they moved to the church compound, threw dynamite into the hall, the ones that scampered for safety were shot at.”
Below is a trending video of another eyewitness account :