Gunmen invade Ebonyi catholic church, kill 3 in Christmas day attack

No fewer than three worshippers have reportedly been killed by unknown gunmen who invaded Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Nkweagu, in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

A clutch of rampaging gunmen unleashed terror at Nkweagu in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on Sunday, leaving trails of death and sorrow in their wake.

The gunmen invaded Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at about 11:30 p.m., killing three in the Christmas day tragedy.

As investigations unfold, the motive behind this ruthless attack remains shrouded in mystery. The targeted killing of the POS operator suggests a calculated move by the assailants, perhaps fueled by personal vendettas or broader criminal intentions. The brazenness of the attack raises questions about the security of public spaces, especially places of worship, during festive occasions when communities gather to celebrate.

Eyewitnesses recount the chaos and panic that ensued as the gunmen indiscriminately opened fire, terrorizing the congregation. Such acts of violence not only claim lives but also leave lasting scars on the psyches of survivors, instilling fear and eroding the sense of security within the community.

In the wake of this tragic event, the community of Nkweagu finds itself grappling with grief and fear. The loss of three lives, including that of a prominent figure in the local market, has sent shockwaves through the close-knit community. However, amidst the sorrow, stories of resilience and solidarity emerge as neighbors come together to support one another.

Local authorities and law enforcement agencies are actively engaged in the investigation, vowing to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. The community’s resilience is evident, as they refuse to be cowed by the actions of a few individuals who seek to disrupt the fabric of their society.

They had earlier reportedly called one of the victims, a popular POS operator at Nkwuagu Market, on the phone to come out of the church. As soon as he stepped out, they shot and killed him.

The killings of the three victims had tossed the whole community into mourning and despair and paralyzed economic activities, especially on Christmas Day, at the popular Nkwuagu market located along the Abakaliki/Afikpo express road.

Recall that one person, a student, was recently killed at Nkwuagu community as a result of cult clashes, and now three more people were killed again, making it four.

Investigation revealed that the killings of these three worshippers at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church may be connected with cult-related clashes between rival groups at Nkwuagu community.

The police in the state have not issued a statement on the matter.

In a swift reaction, the Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Most Rev. Peter Nworie, strongly condemned the gruesome murder of the said three Immaculate Conception Catholic Church worshippers on Christmas Eve.

Nworie described the incident as sad and disheartening, adding 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,” the bishop noted.

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