(CP) Military officers say they’ve arrested the suspected gunmen charged with finishing up a bloodbath on a Catholic church service in southwestern Nigeria that killed over dozens on Pentecost Sunday.
Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Leo Irabor told local reporters that “these behind the dastardly act” that worshippers dead at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo in Ondo state in June have been taken into custody, in keeping with The Daily Trust.
Further particulars weren’t launched, however Irabor advised The Associated Press that investigations stay ongoing.
“In due course, the world will see them and others who’re behind different daring assaults within the nation,” the Nigerian normal was quoted as saying.
The June 5 attack at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church left round 40 folks killed and as many as 80 reportedly injured.
Bishop Jude Arogundade of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ondo told The Christian Post the bloodbath “left the whole group damaged” and the “whole diocese shattered.”
Arogundade advised AP that the Catholic church has not been knowledgeable but of the arrests. He added church officers will wait to obtain additional affirmation about “the motive as a result of we’re a peaceable group, we do not get into politics or into controversial points.”
Arogundade described the southwestern portion of Nigeria the place the diocese is positioned as a “secure a part of Nigeria” and mentioned it has “by no means had this type of incident earlier than.”
“We’re so shocked and stunned that anybody would come from far-off … to assault us,” he mentioned.
In the 2022 Open Doors USA World Watch List of the international locations the place it’s most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to seventh place, its highest rating ever.
Violence in opposition to Christians and Catholics in Nigeria has stepped up in current months, together with the murder of two Catholic clergymen within the Nigerian states of Kaduna and Edo in June.
Those murders got here a few month after two different clergymen have been slain in two different districts within the West African nation.
In May, unidentified gunmen stormed a Catholic parish in northern Nigeria. They kidnapped two clergymen, Fr. Stephen Ojapa and Fr. Oliver Okpara, from the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. Vatican News reported on the time that two unidentified boys from St. Patrick Catholic Church in Gidan Maikambo space of Katsina state’s Kafur Local Government Area have been additionally kidnapped.
Open Doors USA, which displays persecution in over 60 international locations, reported that at the very least 4,650 Christians have been killed between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021, marking a rise from 3,530 the earlier 12 months.
During that very same timeframe, greater than 2,500 Christians have been reportedly kidnapped, up from 990 a 12 months earlier.