Gunmen kill Christian woman, daughter in attack on church service in Nigeria

Police in Nigeria are searching for suspects who stormed a church near the capital city of Abuja and shot dead a woman and her young daughter who were attending a Sunday worship service where several other churchgoers were injured. It’s believed it was a targeted attack. The gunmen arrived on a motorcycle and attacked the Celestial Church in Kogi state’s Lokoja area, about 65 miles from Abuja, last Sunday, the Nigerian newspaper The Guardian reported.

“When they entered, they started shooting at everyone outside the church,” a witness was quoted as saying. I went and hid inside a cassava farm,” the witness added, comparing the incident to “an action film.” Speaking to journalists, Jerry Omodara, Kogi state’s top security official, confirmed the attack and the consequent death of two people but did not comment on the affiliation of the gunmen.

“It looked like it was organized against that particular church, because their altar was burned with petrol they went with,” The Associated Press quoted Omodara as saying. Another senior police officer, SP William Ovye-Aya, was quoted as saying, “There was a distress call made to our command over the attack, which left two female worshipers dead, and several others injured. On getting the alert, our command quickly deployed a response team to the area with a view to restoring normalcy in the area and arresting the perpetrators.”

About a week after the attack, it’s not known if the suspects have been arrested, or even identified. This was the second targeted attack on a church in Lokoja area in three weeks, the newspaper said. In late July, the Evangelical Church Winning All said in a report that suspected Fulani herdsmen and other terrorists had killed six of its pastors and kidnapped 27 others from the church group over the past seven months.



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