The official toll of the people killed in the massacre carried out yesterday in a Catholic church in Owo, in southwestern Nigeria, is 21 dead.

Sources from the Church of Owo, in the Nigerian state of Ondo, the scene of the massacre that took place yesterday in the church of St. Francis Xavier, provided the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church with an update on the victims of the attack. “The morgues to which the lifeless bodies have been transferred are more than one. In the first one so far visited by our source, 25 corpses have been taken”. However, the same source specifies that the lifeless bodies identified and confirmed are over 50. “It will be possible to have a definitive number only after having visited all the departments of the various hospitals”, ACs reports to ANSA.

Hunt for killers -The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria urged the government to “intensify its efforts to hunt down the attackers of the church of San Francesco Saverio, in the state of Ondo”. The bishops underline that “otherwise the fall of the country into anarchy will accelerate”. The president of the Bishops’ Conference, Monsignor Lucius Ugorji, underlines his “great shock and sadness” at the attack. “No place seems to be safe again in our country; not even the sacred precincts of a church. We condemn with the utmost firmness the shedding of innocent blood in the House of God. The criminals responsible for this sacrilegious and barbaric act demonstrate their lack of sense of the sacred and the fear of God “. The government – continues the president of the Nigerian bishops – “should assume its primary responsibility to guarantee the life and property of its citizens. The world is watching us! Above all, God is watching us too”.

The conditions of the injured – Most of the wounded, from the attack on the church in Owo, Nigeria, “are better today but some are in serious condition, bleeding from the bullets received, despite the operations they have already undergone. Some need an ‘ another operation today. Many have been hit in the head or in delicate places. There is a woman, for example, who has her bladder and uterus totally destroyed. ” This was reported by Sister Agnes Adeluyi, of the Sisters of San Luigi in Owo, a nurse at the San Luigi hospital who is providing care to those who have suffered serious physical damage. In an interview with Vatican News, the nun confirms that Fulani shepherds are suspected as perpetrators of the attack. “We must always know that the Fulani surround us in the forest and can attack us at any moment. We are terrified but we must persevere. We are all afraid because in reality there is no protective support – says the nun – from the government. People are now also afraid of going to church. “