Indian priest Tom Uzhunnalil, kidnapped by ISIS terrorists in Yemen, freed, announces Sushma Swaraj

Father Tom Uzhunnalil was abducted in March, 2016 by Islamic State operatives when they attacked an old-age home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in the southern Yemeni city of Aden.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 12, 2017 5:31 pm
Father Tom Uzhunnalil, abducted by ISIS terrorists from the Yemeni city of Aden in March, 2016

Father Tom Uzhunnalil, an Indian Christian priest kidnapped by extremists in Yemen, was rescued from the conflict-torn country.

The priest, who was abducted in March, 2016 by Islamic State operatives when they attacked an old-age home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, was freed by the intervention of Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Yemen is in the midst of a violent conflict between Houthi rebels backing former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and forces supporting the present dispensation of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

“I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

The priest’s rescue from his kidnappers was facilitated after Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said Al Said looked into the matter. Father Uzhunnalil (57), who has been brought to Muscat, will reportedly fly down to his hometown in Kerala later today. Father Uzhunnalil hails from Ramapuram in Kottayam district of Kerala.

India had repeatedly said that it was in regular contact with Yemeni and Saudi authorities regarding the release of the priest. In a video, released soon after his capture, the priest had appealed for help from the Indian government and Pope Francis. In the video, he complained that had he been “a European priest, I would have been taken more seriously by authorities and people and (they) would have got me released. I am from India and therefore, I perhaps am not considered as of much value.”

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who also took up the matter with prime minister Narendra Modi and the ministry of foreign affairs, said he was happy with the release of the priest. “It is learnt that Oman played a crucial role in his release,” said Vijayan.

Read the story in Malayalam

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  1. V
    Vish
    Sep 12, 2017 at 11:19 pm
    What the cck this guy doing in Yemen? doing his wite masters' dirty work of conversions.
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      Nelson
      Sep 12, 2017 at 11:07 pm
      Only in India, we are not happy when our own citizen if released. Check out, how the Western countries rejoice when their own citizen comes home. It's called humanity.
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      1. V
        Vish
        Sep 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm
        Did he do something for his country? Shame on you! He needs to be called out.
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        ash
        Sep 12, 2017 at 10:52 pm
        shameless ,ungrateful priest thanking Vatican and critising indian government for delay in his realease. thanks to Susmaji and efforts of indian goverment it become possible
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          Nelson
          Sep 12, 2017 at 11:03 pm
          The priest is Indian, which Govt. was supposed to help him ? Indian Govt. has a mandate to work hard to free any Indian Citizen that is held in captivity. Sushmaji held the foreign portfolio, she did her job. The priest thanked the Vatican because the Vatican would be working with the Indian Govt. for the release of the priest. Why so much hatred ? would you be happy if he died at the hands of the terrorist ?
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          Nelson
          Sep 12, 2017 at 10:47 pm
          This priest was not thinking of himself when he went to Yemen to work among the lepers. How many of you people will do that ? It surprises me that no one looks at this Priest as a human being and a Indian that was saved. I am sure you guys had no objection to get educated in christian schools and you will have no objection for your children to go to christian schools either. Shame on you for your petty mindedness.
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            ramesh ahuja
            Sep 12, 2017 at 10:07 pm
            Hope the so called secular brigade understand that humanity is first and the biggest religion. The people who hate this GOVT will not react now and this will be forgotten.This is how it works in our country.
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