No fewer than 16 people lost their lives when gunmen opened fire on worshippers in a Deeper Life Bible Church in Okene, Kogi State, yesterday evening. The gunmen had stormed the church opposite the Federal College of Education (FCE) in the town with sophisticated weapons and shot sporadically.
When the dust settled, 15 people had their lives cut short instantly, while one died later in the hospital. Several others who suffered injuries were rushed to the hospital for treatment. It was gathered that the worshippers were ambushed as the assailants blocked all exits to prevent them from escaping. Eyewitnesses said 15 bodies of victims were recovered from the scene, while the injured were rushed to hospital for treatment.
A witness said on phone: “As I am calling you now we have just counted 15 dead bodies, while nine people have been rushed to the General Hospital, Okene.” The Commander of Army headquarters Task Force, Lt Colonel Gabriel Olorunyomi, confirmed the incident. Olorunyomi also confirmed that 15 people died instantly while the sixteenth person died in the hospital.
Also commenting on the incident, the Kogi State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Simon Ile, said information at his disposal was sketchy, adding that the command was still awaiting further report from the divisional police officer in charge of the area.
The PPRO said the police would fish out the perpetrators of the criminal act and bring them to justice. Only two weeks ago an accounts officer with FCE, Okene was kidnapped from his home and murdered in cold blood. Some suicide bombers had also attempted to attack the Living Faith Church on Lagos Road, in Okene Local Government Area last month but were prevented by the heavy presence of security agents.
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