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Bandits storm Catholic church in Katsina, killed priest, kidnap another

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Catholic priest, Reverend Fr. Alphonsus Bello, has been reportedly killed while another priest, Rev. Fr. Joe Keke, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church Malunfashi, Katsina State.

It was revealed that the gunmen stormed the Church, on Thursday, night and started shooting sporadically into the air, leaving some persons injured.

Confirming the incident, the National Social Communications Director, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Reverend Fr Mike Umoh said the suspected bandits dumped the deceased Fr Alphonsus Bello in the farmland behind the Catechetical Training School, Malunfashi while the whereabouts of Fr. Joe Keke remained unknown.

“Last night, one of the parishes of the Sokoto Diocese – St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church Malunfashi, in Katsina State was attacked by unknown gunmen.

“Two priests were kidnapped, Frs. Joe Keke and Alphonsus Bello. Fr Keke, the former parish priest, is in his late 70s while Fr. Bello, the current parish priest, is in his 30s.

“This morning (Friday) the body of Fr Alphonsus Bello was found lifeless in the farmland behind the Catechetical Training School, Malunfashi.

However, the whereabouts of Fr. Joe Keke is still unknown. No contact has been made thus far,” he explained.