The gunmen first detonated explosives near the church altar before firing at the worshippers and killing scores of them on the spot.
On Monday, the Catholic Laymen's Council of Nigeria (CLCN) confirmed that over 50 people were killed in an attack by armed men on Sunday at a church in Saint Francis Parish, Owo town, Ondo state.
"Over fifty parishioners of Saint Francis Catholic Church were killed by armed men suspected of being bandits," the CLCN President Henry Yunkwap said.
"This barbaric act was carried out by animals in human form," he stressed indignantly, adding that "the crime was double" as the victims were Christians and were "worshiping God."
For the souls of the victims to rest in peace, Yunkwap called on the Nigerian government to arrest the killers and bring them to justice immediately.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Khatibzadeh has expressed deep regret over the death of a number of people in an armed attack on a church in Nigeria and sympathized with the government and people of Nigeria as well as the families who lost their loves ones in the incident. pic.twitter.com/VjEMZxp2tc— Iran Foreign Ministry ���� (@IRIMFA_EN) June 6, 2022
An official said that the gunmen first detonated explosives near the church altar before firing at the worshippers and killing scores of them on the spot. It is difficult to put a number to the casualties, as security operatives rushed to the scene to rescue worshippers.
Ondu state governor Arakunrin Akeredolu confirmed the attack but provided no details on the casualties or the identities of the attackers. He said that he is "deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo."
Akeredolu urged the locals to "remain calm and vigilant" as security forces are deployed to monitor and restore normalcy to the town.