Nigeria: priests killed, another kidnapped

Father Alphonsus Bello

Source: Fides

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

Several other people were injured in the attack. The director of national social communication of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Father Mike Umoh, said that the criminals placed the lifeless body of Father Alphonsus Bello on farmland behind the catechetical training school while the fate of Father Joe Keke is still unknown.

Father Umoh said: “Last night one of the parishes in Sokoto Diocese – St. Vincent Ferrer’s Catholic Church in Malunfashi, Katsina State – was attacked by unknown armed men. Two priests were kidnapped, Father Joe Keke and Alphonsus Bello. Father Keke, the former pastor is around 70 years old, while Father Bello, the pastor who is currently murdered, was 30 years old.

“This morning (May 21st) Father Alphonsus Bello’s body was found lifeless on the farmland behind the Catechetical School. We do not know where Father Joe Keke is. No contact has been made with the kidnappers yet.”

A reliable source from the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto said the deceased priest was a member of the Archdiocese of Kaduna but moved to the Diocese of Sokoto to serve in the Malumfashi Parish in Katsina.

Tags: Nigeria, Kaduna, Father Alphonsus Bello, Father Joe Keke

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