According to the newspaper “Punch”, the attack in the city in the state of Ondo happened immediately after a Pentecost service. An unknown number of attackers opened fire on the parishioners. Explosives are also said to have been used.
The exact number of victims is not yet clear. The government of the state of Ondo did not provide any information on the number of deaths. The online publication People’s Gazette quoted a state congressman as saying that 28 people had been killed. Some local media such as the Nigerian Tribune spoke of around 50 deaths.
Up to 100 people were injured in the attack, according to unconfirmed information. The governor of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, spoke on Twitter of a “disgusting and satanic attack”.
A video recording is circulating on social media, which is supposed to show the location of the event. Apparently dead people can be seen lying on the ground covered in blood – including children.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Local residents suspect that the attack was carried out by extremists from northern Nigeria. Jihadist groups have carried out many attacks on churches in the predominantly Muslim north of Nigeria in recent years.
The security situation in Nigeria has long been considered tense. The most populous country in Africa recently experienced a new wave of violence. However, it is the first time that a major attack has been carried out on a church in the predominantly Christian south. So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.