Reports coming out of Nigeria say that dozens of worshippers including women and children were killed in an attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, in the southwestern Nigerian state of Ondo. The attackers targeted parishioners who were celebrating Pentecost Sunday, with terrorists firing weapons into the congregation and detonating explosives. The terrorists also abducted a priest.“Only fiends from the nether region could have conceived and carried out such dastardly act,” said Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, according to a spokesman. He called the attack “heinous” and promised, “No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people, and darkness will never overcome light. Nigeria will eventually win.” Buhari was elected to office on a platform of making Nigeria more secure.
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The New York Post reports that “It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack on the church. While much of Nigeria has struggled with security issues, Ondo is widely known as one of Nigeria’s most peaceful states.”
Catholic Church head Pope Francis issued a statement via the Vatican press office: “The pope has learned of the attack on the church in Ondo, Nigeria and the deaths of dozens of worshippers, many children, during the celebration of Pentecost. While the details are being clarified, Pope Francis prays for the victims and the country, painfully affected at a time of celebration, and entrusts them both to the Lord so that he may send his spirit to console them.”
Ondo Gov. Arakunrin Akeredolu issued a statement on Twitter: