Tragedy has struck a small church in southwestern Nigeria. The Associated Press reports that gunmen opened fire and detonated explosives at St. Francis Catholic Church while worshippers engaged in prayer. Local official Adelegbe Timileyin has reported that at least 50 people died in the attack, including children.
“Our hearts are heavy,” Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu tweeted.
“Our peace and tranquility have been attacked by the enemies of the people.”
At this time, state police are still confirming the exact death count. No suspects have been identified at this time. While authorities work to control this act of violence, Akeredolu urges citizens not to “take the laws into [their own] hands.”
“I urge our people to remain calm and vigilant. Do not take laws into your hands. I have spoken to the heads of the security agencies. I have equally been assured that security operatives would be deployed to monitor and restore normalcy to Owo kingdom,” he added, according to CNN.
Unfortunately, this is not the first mass casualty to take place at the church in the area recently. CNN reports that nearly three dozen people were killed during a stampede at a church event in the southeastern Nigerian city of Port Harcourt last week.