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A church shooting in Nigeria left at least four dozen people dead. St. Francis Church located In Owo, Nigeria fell victim to attackers when gunmen opened fire and detonated explosives at the church.
Close sources report the shooters began to open fire just as worshippers gathered for mass. While the gunmen shot the people inside, others waited outside to kill those who would escape. More than 50 people including children were killed in the attack. A nearby resident Steven Omotayo heard gunshots, stating that he saw “a lot of dead bodies.” He also said, “the people came in and started shooting from the gate.” A local lawmaker told CNN today that the gunmen were “shooting sporadically.”
A young woman lost both her parents. Laide Ajanaku’s parents were avid churchgoers and never missed a mass. Ajanaku had to find out about her parent’s fate from a stranger who got ahold of her father’s phone. Though the anonymous messenger did not know of Ajanakus’s mother’s whereabouts at the time, he informed the worried daughter that her father had been injured and taken to the hospital; the stranger later informed her that her father did not survive. Finally, a priest told her that her mother had died as well. Her mother, Olabimpe, Susanah was 64 and her father, John Adesina Ajanaku, was 67.
People were terrified while attackers showed no remorse as they massacred innocent people and left dozens of families shattered in the aftermath. The Nigeria Medical Association in Ondo State told all available doctors to help the hospitals care for victims because of the overwhelming amount of people affected by the shooting and in critical condition. It became so chaotic that the hospitals exhausted their blood bank and had to request more, according to reports by an unnamed doctor. He claims that the shooting was unlike anything he’d ever seen during his tenure as a physician.
For many people, shooting is a monstrous act, but when it is done in someone’s place of worship with children and people of peace present, it reaches a stronger level of hurt and anger. The number 50 is appalling, representing a rampage of evil and bloodshed.
Adeyemi Olayemi, the legislator representing the two constituencies in the Ondo State House of Assembly, said he saw “the bodies of many kids.”
This is only a few days after an incident at a church charity event in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 29th that left 31 people dead, with children being a portion of the victims. Witnesses state one of the victims was a pregnant woman. As more information comes out about who the shooters are and their motives, Nigerian police will work endlessly to ensure justice is served for the victims who had their lives stolen from them while in their place of worship.
Opinion News by Mikal Eggleston
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: ‘They never missed Mass.’ Woman loses both parents in Nigeria church attack that killed dozens; by Stephanie Busari and Nimi Princewill
Daily Independent: Gunmen at Nigeria church shot from both inside, outside; by Chinedu Asadu
NPR: Children among 31 killed at church fair stampede Nigeria