An Indian Catholic priest who was abducted by Islamic State (IS) in Yemen more than 18 months ago has been rescued, a top official said Tuesday.
Priest Tom Uzhunnalil, a native of south India’s Kerala state, was kidnapped on March 4, 2016, when gunmen stormed an old-people’s home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in the coastal town of Aden. Sixteen people, including an Indian nun and three others, were killed in the attack.
“I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued,” India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said in a tweet.
Although Indian officials did not reveal the details, Oman’s state-run news agency reported that Omani ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said was instrumental in securing the priest’s release in coordination with Yemeni parties.
Uzhunnalil, 57, is under medical observation in Muscat, the Omani capital, and will return to his home in Kerala once he is fit to travel, the Oman News Agency said in a statement.
“Tom Uzhunnalil, a Vatican priest, expressed thanks to God Almighty and appreciation to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. He also thanked his brothers and sisters and all relatives and friends who called on God for [his] safety and release,” it said.
Full story: BenarNews
Prabhat Sharan and Rohit Wadhwaney
Mumbai and New Delhi
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