Indian priest kidnapped by IS in Yemen rescued, tweets Sushma Swaraj

Sep 13, 2017, 00:17
Indian priest kidnapped by IS in Yemen rescued, tweets Sushma Swaraj

Kerala priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was allegedly abducted by ISIS from an old-age home run by Missionaries of Charity in the Yemeni city of Aden last a year ago, has been rescued, said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday.

He also expressed the bishops' "immense gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to Sushma Swaraj, Minister of Foreign Affairs, for having worked tirelessly for the release of Father Tom Uzhunnalil".

Former chief minister Oommen Chandy said Keralites had been waiting to hear the news of Father Tom's release for the last 18 months.

Uzhunnalil was kidnapped when terrorists attacked a care home in Yemen's southern port city of Aden in March 2016.

Hope finally dawned when External Affairs Minister Sushama Swaraj in mid-July, after being told that Fr Uzhannalil was still alive, urged the visiting Yemeni Foreign Minister, Mr Abadulmalik Abduljalil Al-Mekhlafi, to secure his safe and early release.

"Fr. Uzhunnalil will remain for a few days in a Salesian community in Rome before going home to India". The attackers killed 16 persons including four Indian sisters of that religious order, and eight elderly residents of the home.

The Indian Government, last year, confirmed that efforts were underway to ensure that he is released.

Officials in India, Father Uzhunnalil's native country, had indicated in August that they were optimistic the priest would soon be free.

However, Oman's state news agency ONA posted a photo of the Salesian of Don Bosco priest in good health after being transferred to the Omani capital Muscat.‎.

Muscat said it had secured his release.

Later in 2016, December, another video emerged, in which Father Tom Uzhunalil even criticised the government for his situation.

"They are treating me well to the extent they are able", Uzhunnalil said, speaking in English.

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