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No priest was kidnapped in Ondo church attack – Church

Director of Social Communications at St. Francis Catholic Church in Owaluwa in Owo LGA, Rev. Father Augustine Wu, has said all priests and bishops in the parish are safe and that no one was kidnapped, contrary to reports in the media.

Father Wu said in a statement on Sunday that security agents have arrived at the community.

Police spokesperson in the state, Odunlami Fumilayo, said preliminary investigations has shown that the assailants approached during service and began shooting from outside the church, while 4 others shot directly into the church.

Our correspondent said the gunmen detonated explosives and shot at worshippers at the Church.

There were speculations that a priest was kidnapped, while many worshippers were killed and others injured.

At the time of filing this report, the death toll could not be determined.

Pictures from the attack were too graphic to be published.

Meanwhile, the governor of Ondo State, who has been in Abuja for the APC primary election, was said to be on his way back to Owo.

According to his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, the governor was saddened by the bloodshed, and security agents have been deployed.

Buhari condemns church attack

President Muhammadu Buhari also condemned the attack in a statement issued on Sunday evening by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

“Eternal sorrow awaits the perpetrators of the dastardly act,” he wrote.

The President has directed emergency responders to go into action and assist the injured, and he has warned that no matter how serious the criminal activity, “Nigeria will never give in to evil and wicked people,” emphasising that darkness will never overcome light.

Reporting by Leke Adegbite in Ondo and Abdullah Bello in Abuja; Editing by Saadatu Albashir and Tony Okerafor