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Catholic priest visits scene of Sunday's massacre in Nigeria

St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo State in Nigeria   -  
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Sunday Alamba/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


A Catholic priest visited his church in southwestern Nigeria scene of a shooting attack on Sunday.

The attack resulted in at least 50 deaths including women and children.

The Parish Priest described what he witnessed.

"I saw people running helter skelter in the town and saying, 'they are coming, they are coming.' So I was trying to look for the shortest path to get back to the parish.
It was in that instance that I saw two of my altar servers, who stopped me and said, 'Father, father, father, stop, stop. Don't go to the parish. They are killing people in the parish.' And I said, 'which people?' They said, 'they don't know", said Father Vincent Anadi, Parish Priest at St Francis Catholic Church.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the massacre. 

Local authorities in Ondo State said the gunmen had evaded capture.

The government ordered the immediate deployment of armed and specialist police to the area.

"We cannot really give an accurate figure or statistics right now, because as you can see, I'm trying to collect, you know, the names that I have are the people that I know. A lot of children were involved. Who, of course, it has to be the parents who identify them and then right now, we don't even know, you know, such parents until about maybe after a week we would know who and who, you know, were affected. But the prominent persons in the church, the individuals that are known, you know, is what we have and about, more than 30 persons who actually died on this spot yesterday, who were taken to the morgue", added the Parish Priest.

Ondo state has been caught up in an increasingly violent conflict between farmers and nomadic herders.

Similar attacks have taken place in other parts of Nigeria carried out by armed groups “called the bandits”.