The Nigeria Police have confirmed recovery of some AK-47 pellets and unexploded explosives from the scene of the Sunday attack in Owo.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, also said the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Usman, condemned in all totality, the attack in which scores were killed and others injured.
He added that Alkali had ordered the deployment of specialised operatives of the Police EOD-CBRNE, police experts, and other tactical units from the Force Headquarters for a comprehensive investigation, and for immediate interception of the villains.”
Adejobi also said that some of the gunmen posed as worshippers inside the church while others who positioned themselves outside fired at the congregation.
He explained that the recoveries, according to Adejobi included pellets of expended AK-47 ammunition, Explosive Ordnance Devices – Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Explosives (EOD-CBRNE).
The statement reads in part:: “Further investigations revealed that some of the gunmen disguised as congregants, while other armed men who had positioned themselves around the church premises from different directions, fired into the church.
“The assailants fled the scene using a Nissan Sunny car with Reg No. AKR 895 AG which was snatched from the owner, and escaped through Owo/Ute Road. The vehicle has been recovered while the owner of the vehicle is currently assisting the Police in its investigations.
“The IGP has ordered full-scale investigations into the incident in order to bring to book the perpetrators of the gruesome killing of the worshippers at the church.“
“The Inspector-General of Police, therefore, condoles with the Ondo State Government, family members, relatives, and friends of the victims who lost their lives in the unfortunate attack.
Blood donors are needed at the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, where most of the injured victims were taken to.
The injured victims who were rushed to the emergency unit of the hospital, are in need of blood.
A total of 35 persons were brought in dead, according to workers at the Federal Medical Centre and Saint Louis Hospital, both in Owo, where the dead and the injured were taken to.
The number of those killed was yet to be specified by the church or the State authorities.
More deaths were said to have been recorded as some of those injured died hours after the incident.
A woman, who was shot in the leg during the attack, was said to have given up the ghost on Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, his Holiness, Pope Francis, has expressed his solidarity and closeness with Catholics in Nigeria.
According to a statement issued by Matteo Bruni, the director of the Vatican press office, on Sunday, the pope said the congregants were “painfully affected”.
“The pope has learned of the attack on the church in Ondo, Nigeria and the deaths of dozens of worshippers, many children, during the celebration of Pentecost.
“While the details are being clarified, Pope Francis prays for the victims and the country, painfully affected at a time of celebration, and entrusts them both to the Lord so that he may send his spirit to console them,” the statement read.