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ISWAP behind Owo Church massacre — National security Council



The National security Council has blamed the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) for the attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, that led to the death of about 38 persons on June 5.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said this on Thursday while briefing State House Correspondents after the National Security Council meeting in Abuja.

He disclosed that security agencies, particularly the police, have been directed to apprehend the perpetrators. The former governor said the attack has no ethnic-religious connection, affirming that the group’s activity has nothing to do with religion.

The council, according to him, is also concerned about killings in the name of blasphemy and has directed the security agencies to go after perpetrators of the incidents that occurred in Sokoto State and Abuja recently.

The Ondo State Government on Wednesday said the death toll from the Sunday terrorists attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, is now 40.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Banji Ajaka, disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Ajaka said as of Tuesday midnight, the state government’s record showed that those affected by the attack are 127 while 40 were confirmed dead.

Ajaka, in the statement, said, “The situation report as of 12midnight on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 is that at St. Louis Hospital, Owo, 39 people were involved and 13 deaths.

“At the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, the total number of persons involved is 84 and number of corpses in FMC mortuary is 25; 17 females and eight males.”

He also said two deaths were recorded from two private hospitals in the state.

Meanwhile, the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has assured the Catholic Church that the state government will provide land in a good environment for the mass burial of the victims.

Akeredolu gave the assurance while receiving a team of Catholic bishops from the South-West led by Archbishop Leke Abegunrin, at his residence in Owo.

The governor, who also confirmed the new casualty figure, said the new figure followed the harmonisation of reports from various hospitals.

He said, “We will have a Memorial Park here where those who died in the attack will be buried.

“We will find a good place as a Memorial Park. It will also be my suggestion that even if there are people who have retrieved their family or members of their family, we must still have a symbolic grave there for them. And it will be there forever, it is not something we can forget and we should never forget it.”

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