Mass Shooting in Nigerian Church: At Least 8 Killed, 18 Injured

Mass Shooting in Nigerian Church: At Least 8 Killed, 18 Injured

Mass Shooting in Nigerian Church: At Least 8 Killed, 18 Injured

About 50 worshippers at the St. Philip's Catholic Church, Ugwu Oye in Ozubulu, Anambra State, have been reported dead following the invasion of their Sunday service by unknown gunmen.

An eyewitness told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday that the gunmen went into the church during the 5:45 a.m. mass and identified a particular man and shot him.

On getting to the church, he had left and out of anger, probably, they rained bullets on worshippers in the church.

Chukwuma Emeka said he had just stepped out of the church to stretch his legs "when I heard gunshots and screaming and people running inside".

The hospital authority has confirmed 8 persons dead, and 18 injured.

Governor Obiano also visited Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi to sympathise with the injured victims who were being treated at the medical facility.

In his reaction, Victor Oye, the National Chairman, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, said that no amount of provocation could justify the killing of innocent people who had gone to worship in a Church.

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The governor, however, reassured them that the suspects and all those involved in perpetrating such heinous crimes would be brought to book while the government would take up the bills of the hospitalised persons.

In frustration oddfor not finding their victim in church opened fire on other worshippers.

Umar described any insinuation that the attack was carried out by Boko Haram elements as false and urged the people to go about their businesses as usual.

Attacks on churches are rare in southern Nigeria, where there is a predominantly Christian population.

In the immediate wake of the attack, some Nigerian observers wondered if there might have a political subtext to the act, since a Pentecostal church in the state was recently stormed by young protestors objecting to an appearance by a gubernatorial candidate.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Garba Umar dismissed the rumour and said the attack was carried out by a lone wolf gunman, who is an indigene of the area.

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