Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Health Care | By Jeffery Armstrong

Abducted Kerala Priest Father Tom, Rescued From ISIS Captivity

Abducted Kerala Priest Father Tom, Rescued From ISIS Captivity

The Salesian priest was kidnapped on 4 March, 2016, after suspected Islamic terrorists stormed a home for elderly people managed by the Missionaries of Charity nuns in the port city of Ade, Yemen.

Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kottayam, was kidnapped from a care home in Yemen's southern port city of Aden a year ago.

"Muscat has secured the release of the Indian priest who was abducted during a deadly attack by Islamist militants in Yemen, Oman's official news agency said", as per news agency AFP.

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. While Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, released the information through Twitter, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed vast joy in his release. "The intervention of Oman had paved the way for his release, I understand", he said in a Facebook post.

Several leaders in Kerala also hailed the news of Uzhunnalil's rescue including state's chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and former chief minister Oommen Chandy. "We had no news about him, except for the videos which were released", said Father Anil D'Sa, youth director for Karnataka.

The 58-year-old priest was "transferred this morning to Muscat in preparation for his return home", the statement said.

Fr.tom was abducted on March 2016. Speaking slowly in English, he had lamented: "Neither the bishops nor the Indian Government had asked them (his captors) what they want". No one really knew what had become of the kidnapped priest, but soon photos and videos of an ill-looking, exhausted and thin Fr. Tom were released showing him pleading for help.

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