The police in Ondo State have given insight into how terrorists attacked the St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, on Sunday.
It is believed that over 70 persons were killed and injured in the attack.
But a statement by the Ondo State Police Command, on Sunday, signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Funmilayo Odunlami, said the attack was initiated by the gunmen at about 11:30 a.m., while the church service was ongoing.
“Some armed men invaded the church and attacked members of the church, where some lives were lost and some sustained varying degrees of injuries,” the statement said.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the assailants approached the church during the service, started shooting from outside the church while others numbering about four shot directly into the church.”
The statement noted that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Oyeyemi Oyediran, had ordered the deployment of armed and specialised policemen to restore normalcy and fortify the entire community.
“Meanwhile, the CP has equally ordered Forensic Investigation into the attack to ascertain the actual or remote cause(s) of the attack and for immediate arrest of the assailants as all hands are on deck to forestall any similar attack in any part of the state,” the statement said.
The Commissioner of Police also commiserated with the Church, family of the deceased, the People of Owo and the Ondo State Government.
The police, were, however, silent on the number of mortality and the injured.
It earlier said it had deployed the Anti-Bomb Squad of the police to the area to provide further security, urging residents to be calm.
Witnesses had also reported that the gunmen threw explosives into the church and started shooting as the worshippers scampered for safety.
The Catholic Diocese of Ondo said the church was attacked during the celebration of Pentecost.
The Diocese also clarified that no priest was kidnapped in the incident.
WATCH: Governor Yahaya Bello’s Roadmap to Hope 2023
Support PREMIUM TIMES’ journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.