Scores reportedly killed as gunmen attack Rivers community

Dakuku Peterside DG NIMASA

At least 16 people have been killed by gunmen at a church in southern Nigeria after a New Year's Day service, police have said, with some local reports putting the death toll as high as 21.

26 persons were reportedly shot in the attack, 14 persons died on the spot, while 12 injured victims were rushed to hospitals in the city were three other people gave up the ghost.

The president appealed to the communities affected not to embark on reprisal attacks.

The incident, which happened in the oil-rich region of Rivers state, has been linked in local media reports to growing tensions between rival gangs.

The attack was said to have been carried out by a group of gunmen in the early hours of Monday as worshippers returned from the cross over service to herald the New Year.

The State Police Command said it was aware of the development but there was no official confirmation as at press time.

The exact number of casualties have not been confirmed by the authorities.

WikipediaRivers State in Nigeria where the incident took place.

"People in our communities must learn to live peacefully".

He was said to have been be hit by a stray bullet in Abonnema, Akuku Toru LGA of Rivers State.

"It is unfortunate that over 1,000 persons have been killed in questionable circumstances in the last two years under his watch. This is an act that must be condemned", he said in a statement.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday ordered security agencies to find perpetrators of Rivers and Kaduna killings.

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