Abuja, Aug 7 (IANS) The death toll in an attack on a Nigerian church by a group of armed men rose to 11, police said on Monday. However, they ruled out that it was a terrorist attack.
The attackers opened fire on hundreds of worshippers gathered at St. Philip Catholic Church in Ozubulu area of Anambra state, Xinhua news agency reported.
The attack occurred at 5.45 a.m. on Sunday, when the worshippers were attending a mass.
Although eight deaths were reported initially, state Police Commissioner Garba Umar raised the number to 11, saying that 18 other people were injured.
He suggested that it was a fight between individuals in the community as the possible reason for the shooting.
Some witnesses had reported that, at first, the gunmen fired at a man who was in the church and then began to shoot indiscriminately at the rest of the faithful.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the “appalling crime” in a statement and sent his condolences to the families of the victims.
The state of Anambra is in the southeast of the country, where the terrorist group Boko Haram is not usually present.