Gun men on Christmas day attacked a Catholic Church in Ebonyi State and killed three worshippers.
According to a community source who spoke on condition of anonymity, the gunmen attacked the church around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday and killed the victims.
The incident took place at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church close to the Nkweagu Market, in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of the state.
The source said, “They earlier called one of the victims, a popular PoS operator at Nkwuagu Market, on the phone to come out from the church. As soon as he stepped out from the church, they shot him dead.”
The incident, on Monday, threw the community into panic as villagers were thrown into mourning, while economic activities were also paralysed in the area even on Christmas Day, at the popular Nkwuagu Market located on the Abakaliki/Afikpo Expressway.
Efforts to reach the Ebonyi State Police Command for comment on the matter failed on Monday night.
Both the Commissioner for Police, CP Augustina Ogbodo, and the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, did not take their calls when our correspondent reached out to them through their mobiles.
They were also yet to respond to the messages sent to their mobiles as of the time of filing this report on Monday.
The Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Most Rev. Peter Nworie, condemned the killing.
The bishop described the incident as disheartening and prayed for the repose of the victims’ souls.
He explained that the suspected killers invaded the church while a priest was celebrating a vigil mass service, and killed and injured many others.
“This is the first time such an incident has happened in the church and in Ebonyi State in general.
“I encourage people to align themselves with the significance and teaching of Christmas. I urge all Catholic faithful to pray for the unity and progress of the state and nation,” he said.