AUGUST 29, 2017
On Friday morning, August 25, 2017, during a convention being held at the Viana Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Luanda, Angola, 405 attendees were rendered unconscious when assailants released toxic gas in the main auditorium and separate restroom facilities. Fortunately, the gas was not lethal and no one was killed. The victims were taken to local hospitals and most were treated and released within a few hours. The incident is being investigated by the local authorities; three men were arrested and taken into police custody on Friday afternoon.
The branch office in Luanda reports that all of the victims are recovering well. It was noted that those in attendance did not panic and worked together to care for the injured. In cooperation with recommendations from the local police, the Friday afternoon session of the convention was canceled. However, the convention resumed successfully without major incident on Saturday, August 26, and Sunday, August 27. Attendance reached a peak of over 12,000, and 188 were baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000
Angola: Todd Peckham, +244-923-166-760