(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Gunmen opened fire on worshippers and detonated explosives at a Catholic church in the city of Owo in southwestern Nigeria on Sunday, leaving dozens feared dead, state lawmakers said.
The attackers targeted the St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo state just as the worshippers gathered on Pentecost Sunday. Many children were among the dead, legislator Ogunmolasuyi Oluwole said.
Authorities did not immediately release an official death toll.
A doctor at a hospital in Owo told Reuters that at least 50 bodies had been brought in to two hospitals in the town from the attack. The doctor, who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the press, also said there was a need for blood donations to treat the injured.
Adelegbe Timileyin, who represents the Owo area in Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, also said at least 50 people had been killed, though others put the figure higher. Videos appearing to be from the scene of the attack showed church worshippers lying in pools of blood while people around them wailed.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack on the church.