ABUJA, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian authorities on Tuesday confirmed at least five suspected masterminds of the June 5 deadly attack on a church in the country's southwestern state of Ondo have been arrested.
The suspects were arrested in different locations across the country, said Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff, at a press briefing in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
"We had wanted to present the suspects to the public immediately but could not because certain investigations are still being carried out," Irabor said.
Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, told reporters at a separate press conference on Tuesday in Akure, the state capital, that aside from the masterminds who were arrested, the owner of the building where they lodged before carrying out the attack had also been arrested.
Akeredolu said the security agencies are still on the trail of other gunmen who carried out the horrendous attack on innocent worshippers, adding the government did not spare a moment in trailing the suspected terrorists.
"Now that the military has announced it, I can tell you that five of them have been arrested now," the governor said.
At least 40 worshippers were reportedly killed and 61 others wounded following the bloody attack on the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, a town of Ondo, over two months ago. The Nigerian government said it suspected the Islamic State West Africa Province of being behind the attack.