Indian priest Father Tom, who was kidnapped by ISIS from Yemen rescued: Sushma Swaraj

Swaraj tweeted that the priest from Kerala had been rescued.

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Indian priest Father Tom, who was kidnapped by ISIS from Yemen rescued: Sushma Swaraj
Father Tom and Sushma Swaraj


On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Catholic priest abducted by Islamic State from Yemen in March 2016 has been rescued.

Father Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala, was abducted in March by terror group Islamic State which attacked an old-age home run by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in southern Yemeni city of Aden.

Oman state news agency also said he had been rescued. Onam has frequently helped facilitate the release of foreign nationals who have gone missing or been detained in neighbouring Yemen. ONA said Uzhunnalil was transferred to Muscat before his return home. ONA did not say which group had been holding him.

Kerala CM Vijayan also expressed happiness and said that he had learnt that Oman had played a 'crucial role' in his release. 

Earlier, Swaraj had told parliament that all efforts would be made to secure Father Tom’s release.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had informed Parliament that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has spoken to various countries through which contacts can be established in Yemen.

Swaraj had said it takes more time to secure release of people who are held captive and asked the MPs to keep "faith" in government's efforts to trace the abducted priest.

She had also held extensive talks with Yemeni Deputy PM over his safety.

Earlier, ISIS had purportedly released a video of Farther Tom where he claims that ‘nothing was being done for his release since he was Indian’.

The video showed him claiming his captors have made many contacts with the Government of India--President and Prime Minister. "I am very sad that nothing has been done seriously in my regard," he said.

"If I were a European priest, I would have been taken more seriously. I am from India. I am perhaps not considered as of much value," said priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil in a weak voice in the video, aired by news channels in Kerala. "Dear Pope Francis, dear Holy Father, as a father please take care of my life. I am very much depressed. My health is deteriorating," he said in the video, a day after Christmas.

With inputs from PTI 

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