It was a bloody Sunday in Anambra State, as unidentified gunmen invaded St Philip’s Catholic Church, Amakwa Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the state, killing no fewer than 35 worshippers and injuring scores of others now receiving treatment in different hospitals in the state.
But the state police command said only eight persons were killed, while 10 others sustained various degrees of injuries.
It was learned that trouble started for worshippers who were in church for the 6:00am Mass, when at about 6:45am, the gunmen rode into the church in a Lexus SUV, as one of them entered the church and shot at close range an elderly man, later identified as Pa Ikegwuonu, while others remained in the vehicle outside.
An eye-witness said after killing the old man, the gunman opened fire on other worshippers, as those who tried to flee were cut down by the gunmen outside the church.
Pa Ikegwuonu is the father of Chief Aloysius Ikegwuonu, a businessman from Amakwa, who built and donated the church to Nnewi Diocese, while his wife was shot on her right arm and still on admission at the teaching hospital.
It was gathered that the gunmen were looking for his son, Aloysius, who was said to have returned to the village on Saturday and left later in the day.
According to a source, the gunmen had thought he was in the church and had wanted to deal decisively with him over a yet-to-be ascertained business deal.