Mass shooting Weekend

Sympathisers evacuating remains of a victim at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State in Nigeria

The gunmen who killed dozens at a Catholic church in southwestern Nigeria opened fire on worshippers both inside and outside the building in a coordinated attack before escaping the scene, authorities and witnesses said.

“The attack is undoubtedly terrorist in nature, and the scale and brutality suggests it was carefully planned rather than impulsive,” said Eric Humphery-Smith, senior Africa analyst at Verisk Maplecroft risk intelligence company. However, the attack is still not being called a terrorist attack.

There were also more mass shootings in USA this weekend in Philadelphia and Chattanooga, left at least six people dead and over 25 others wounded, police said on Sunday in the latest cases of gun violence after recent massacres in Texas, New York and Oklahoma.

While the Buffalo and Brooklyn shootings have been called the terrorist act, the recent shootings have not been. Until recently, if an attacker is considered Muslim, they are assumed to be terrorists. More recently, the attacker would have to have ideological purpose are considered terrorists. Nathaniel Veltman who killed a Muslim family in London Ontario was charged with terrorism, however, Alexandre Bissonnette who shot six praying in Mosque in Quebec City was not charged with any hate crime or terrorism.

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, described the incident as a “barbaric terrorist attack” and said he hopes “the perpetrators of this horrific terrorist act against a church will be swiftly apprehended and brought to justice.”

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