Kerala Catholic priest rescued from Yemen

Wednesday, 13 Sep, 2017

Catholic priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil from Kerala, who was abducted from Yemen previous year, has been rescued, External Affairs Minister Sushman Swaraj announced on Tuesday.

A priest from Kerala who was kidnapped in Yemen a year ago has been rescued, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted this afternoon.

It is nearly a miracle that Kerala's recently famous missionary, Fr Tom Uzhannalil, has been released from IS captivity, after given up for being crucified on Good Friday in 2016. "We are very thankful to Sushma Swaraj and all the others who worked towards his release". The attackers killed 16 people, including an Indian nun, eight elderly residents and a guard.

A statement released this morning by the government of Oman corroborates the released. "The details will be disclosed by the Ministry of External Affairs", Prasad said, adding: "There was serious concern. the father hailed from Kerala".

Earlier, Oman's official news agency ONA said Oman, in coordination with Yemeni parties, had managed to find Uzhunnalil and that he had been moved to Muscat, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. "I renew my appeal for the freeing of all kidnapped persons in armed conflict zones", the Pope said. The worst news came on March 29, 2016 when a UK-based newspaper carried the story of his crucifixion.

ONA published a picture of Father Uzhunnalil "appearing in good health" following his release and transfer to the Omani capital, Muscat.

Recalling the Catholic church representatives' August 17 meeting with Swaraj in New Delhi, he said the minister had assured them that the government had given "first priority" for securing the release of the priest.

Rajya Sabha Member and NDA Kerala Vice chairman Rajeev Chandreasekhar welcomed the news of the priest Fr.Tom Uzhunnalil's release from captivity.