Indian priest kidnapped by IS in Yemen rescued, tweets Sushma Swaraj
Father Tom was kidnapped from Yemen last year. Photograph: (Twitter)
Father Tom Uzhunnalil, an Indian priest from Kerala who was kidnapped by the Islamic State in Yemen last year has been rescued, India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj informed on Twitter.
I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued.pic.twitter.com/FwAYoTkbj2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) September 12, 2017
The priest was abducted in March 2016 from the coastal city of Aden after the IS attacked an old people's home run by missionaries. 16 people including four Indian nuns were killed in the attack by gunmen posing as relatives of one of the residents at the home.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote on Twitter that he was happy to hear about the release of Father Tom and that it was learnt that Oman had played a crucial role.
Happy to hear about the release of Father Tom (Kerala priest), it is learnt that Oman played a crucial role in his release: Kerala CM pic.twitter.com/lKWmqKZFaq— ANI (@ANI) September 12, 2017
Former chief minister of Kerala Oommen Chandy also expressed satisfaction at Father Tom's release.
Muscat said it had secured his release.
In a video appeal in May, Father Tom had requested his family to make efforts for his rescue, saying that his health was "deteriorating rapidly" and that he required hospitalisation as early as possible.
The priest said his kidnappers had contacted the Indian government and the Catholic bishop in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates with their demands.
"My dear family people, do what you can to help me be released. Please, please do what you can to help to get me released. May God bless you for that," he said in the video.