Abducted Kerala priest Tom Uzhunnalil rescued from Yemen

Father Tom Uzhunnalil on his arrival in Muscat, Oman on September 12, 2017
Father Tom Uzhunnalil on his arrival in Muscat, Oman on September 12, 2017
A priest from Kerala, Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was abducted in Yemen in March 2016, has been rescued and the Government of Oman, in coordination with Yemeni groups, evacuated him to Muscat today, reports reaching here said.
The reports said the Government of Oman had played a role in securing the release of the priest.
"I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued," Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Sources close to the priest said that he would fly from Muscat to Kerala later in the day today.
Omani media reports said Fr. Uzhunnalil expressed his appreciation to Sultan Qaboos of Oman. He also thanked all his friends and relatives who prayed for his release.
In Abu Dhabi, UAE, Bishop Paul Hinder of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia, confirmed that Fr. Uzhunnalil had been released today. "He is now in safe hands," a press release said.
Fr Uzhunnalil was abducted by terrorists who had attacked an old-age home run by the Missionaries of Charity, founded by the late Mother Teresa, in Aden in South Yemen.
Since then, the Government of India and the Vatican had been making efforts to secure his release.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the news about the release of Fr. Uzhunnalil was heartening.


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