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Nigeria: Priest killed, another kidnapped

Fr Alphonsus Bello

Fr Alphonsus Bello

Source: Fides

One priest has been killed and another kidnapped from the same parish in northern Nigeria. Father Alphonsus Bello was killed and Father Joe Keke was abducted on Thursday night, by a group of armed men who stormed the parish of St Vincent Ferrer in Malunfashi, in the State of Katsina, in northern Nigeria.

Several other people were injured in the raid. The Director of National Social Communications of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Fr Mike Umoh, said that the criminals laid the lifeless body of Fr Alphonsus Bello on farmland behind the catechetical training school, while the fate of Fr Joe Keke is still unknown.

Fr Umoh said: "Last night, one of the parishes in the diocese of Sokoto - the Catholic church of St. Vincent Ferrer in Malunfashi, in the state of Katsina - was attacked by unidentified gunmen. Two priests were kidnapped, Father Joe Keke and Alphonsus Bello. Father Keke, the former parish priest, is about 70 years old while Fr Bello, the current murdered parish priest, was 30 years old.

"This morning (May, 21) the body of Fr Alphonsus Bello was found lifeless on the farmland behind the Catechetical Training School. We do not know where Fr Joe Keke is. So far no contact has been made with the kidnappers."

Meanwhile, a reliable source from the Catholic diocese of Sokoto said the deceased priest belonged to the Archdiocese of Kaduna, but was moving to the diocese of Sokoto where he was going to serve in the parish of Malumfashi in Katsina.


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