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The Police in Ondo State have given insight into how terrorists attacked the St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State on Saturday morning.

It is believed that over 70 persons have so far lost their lives during the attack while scores were severely injured.

But a statement by the Ondo State Police Command on Sunday which was signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Funmilayo Odunlami, said the attack was initiated by the gunmen at about 11:30am, while the Church service was ongoing.

“Some armed men invaded the church and attacked members of the church, where some lives were lost and some sustained varying degrees of injuries,” the statement said.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the assailants approached the church during the service, started shooting from outside the church while others numbering about four (4) shot directly into the church.”

The statement noted that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Oyeyemi Oyediran, had ordered the deployment of armed and specialised policemen to restore normalcy and fortify the entire community.

“Meanwhile, the CP has equally ordered Forensic Investigation into the attack to ascertain the actual or remote cause(s) of the attack and for immediate arrest of the assailants as all hands are deck to forestall any similar attack in any part of the state,” the statement said.

The Commissioner of Police also commiserated with the Church, family of the deceased, the People of Owo and Ondo State Government.

The police Command was however silent on the number of mortality and the injured.

It earlier said it had deployed the Anti Bomb Squad of the police to the area to provide further security, urging residents to be calm.

Eyewitnesses had also reported that the gunmen threw explosives into the church and started shooting as the worshippers scampered for safety.

The Catholic Diocese of Ondo has also indicated that the church was attacked while the celebration of Pentecost was ongoing.

The Diocese also clarified that no priest was abducted during the attack, saying that all of them were safe.

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