YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon – Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga is calling for justice after one of his priests was murdered on Tuesday in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic.
Father Albert Toungoumale-Baba was killed along with several other people when unidentified gunmen attacked the Notre Dame de Fatima church. The death toll as of Thursday stood at 26, after ten more people died from wounds sustained during the assault.
The priest was celebrating Mass when the assailants struck with gunfire and grenades, forcing Mass attendees to flee through a hole in the wall created by the police.
Father Moses Aliou, a priest from the parish, told Reuters people were “filled with panic” and began to flee, but the hail of gunfire was “trapping those who remained in the compound.”
The attack took place on the edge of Bangui’s majority-Muslim PK5 neighborhood and is reminiscent of a similar attack last month when 21 people were killed during clashes between security forces and criminal gangs. The Notre Dame de Fatima church was previously attacked by gunmen in 2014.
Toungoumale-Baba had been a fervent supporter of interfaith relations and had good relations with the local Muslim community.
The mainly-Muslim PK5 district has been a flash point in a country weakened by sectarian violence and militia rule. As the parish was attacked, assailants also attacked mosques and health facilities in the capital.
Read more at Crux.