Attack on church in Nigeria leaves over 20 worshippers missing

Attack on church in Nigeria leaves over 20 worshippers missing

Gunmen kidnapped 40 during church service but 15 escaped later, says official

By Olanrewaju Kola

LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) - Over 20 worshippers are still missing 48 hours after gunmen attacked a church in Nigeria's northwest Kaduna State, an official said Tuesday.

Rev. Joseph Hayab, head of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State, told Anadolu that some gunmen stormed Bege Baptist Church during service.

"The gunmen kidnapped 40 worshippers but about 15 escaped later and were seen on Monday," he told Anadolu.

Hayab said the incident which occurred on Sunday, was not reported to him or security agencies until Monday due to the remoteness of the area and poor telecom services.

He said attacks on worship centers in the state have increased since January this year, calling on the government to prevent the violence.

"These attacks are perpetrated by criminals and not particularly for any religious purpose. We've had more attacks on the churches in Kaduna this year but these attackers are criminals," he said.

The country's northwest region has been experiencing insecurity, including attacks on schools and mass abduction of students, kidnapping of worshippers, religious clerics, banditry, and terrorism.

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