ABUJA — Unidentified gunmen have killed scores of worshippers following an attack on a church in Nigeria’s southwestern state of Ondo on Sunday, according to various sources.

The attack took place in Owo, a town in Ondo state, as many worshippers gathered at the church during the morning mass on Sunday, multiple sources said.

A government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Xinhua by telephone that the gunmen first detonated explosives near the church altar before firing at the worshippers and killing scores of them on the spot.

The official said it is difficult to put a number to the casualties, as security operatives rushed to the scene to rescue worshippers. He said injured victims were rushed to a government-run hospital in Owo town.

Ondu state governor Arakunrin Akeredolu confirmed the attack but provided no details on the casualties or the identities of the attackers.

In a statement, the governor said he is “deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo, worshipping at the St. Francis Catholic Church, today.”

Akeredolu urged the locals to “remain calm and vigilant” as security forces are deployed to monitor and restore normalcy to the town.

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