"The secretary-general condemns in the strongest terms the heinous attack in the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, on June 5 that resulted in the death and injuries of scores of civilians as people gathered for the Pentecost service," a statement from the UN Secretary General's spokesman, Stephane Dujarric said.
"The secretary-general emphasizes that attacks on places of worship are abhorrent. He urges the Nigerian authorities to spare no effort in bringing the perpetrators to justice," the statement added.
Antonio Guterres conveyed his deepest condolences to the victims' families and expressed his best wishes for a prompt recovery for those who were injured. As well, he sent his condolences and solidarity to the Nigerian government and its people.
#Nigeria attack: Gunmen with explosives stormed St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo town in Ondo State and opened fire, killing at least 50 people. pic.twitter.com/lsyn8a1QV7
According to witnesses, at least five individuals entered the compound and took members of the congregation by surprise and shot them. They also set off explosives before abducting several parishioners. Once outside, they fired indiscriminately at passers-by.
The number of injured was not determined, but the Federal Medical Center received the bodies of at least 50 people. Among the dead were children and women.