Owo Church Attack: Police recover three unexploded IEDs, IGP orders full-scale investigation

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, on Monday condemned the attack on St Francis Catholic Church Owo, ordering a full-scale investigation into the incident.
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, on Monday condemned the attack on St Francis Catholic Church Owo, ordering a full-scale investigation into the incident.

Suspected terrorists had stormed the church in Ondo State on Sunday, killing scores of worshippers while injuring others. The incident which sent the nation into mourning has been condemned by Nigerians, including President Muhammadu Buhari and many state governors.

In a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the IGP said the attack was carried out by yet-to-be-identified gunmen at about 11.30 am on June 5.

Baba said that based on preliminary investigations, the gunmen invaded the church with arms and materials suspected to be explosives.

“The gunmen, from preliminary investigations, invaded the church with arms and materials suspected to be explosives,” the statement partly read.

“Police Investigators who were part of the First Responders deployed to the scene have recovered pellets of expended AK-47 ammunition while the Explosive Ordnance Devices – Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Explosives (EOD-CBRNE) unit confirmed the use of Explosives as fragments of the IEDs used were found and after thorough sweeping of the scene, 3 unexploded IEDs were recovered at the scene of the incident.

“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 also 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 attackers.

This is even as he condoled with the Ondo State Government, family members, relatives, and friends of the victims who lost their lives in the unfortunate attack.

He assured that “the heartless killers of the harmless victims, particularly innocent children, would be made to face the full wrath of the law, while the Force will emplace strategies to forestall similar future occurrences.”

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