Indian Priest Tom Uzhunnalil Rescued From Daesh Captivity

Kerala priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil abducted from Yemen in 2016 rescued

Reports that the priest was still alive surfaced in July after Yemen's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Abdulmalik Abduljalil Al-Mekhlafi, spoke with Swaraj. While Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, released the information through Twitter, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed vast joy in his release.

Oman Observer reported that Father Tom Uzhunnalil aka Father Thomas was brought to Muscat from Yemen and he will be sent to Kerala at the earliest.

In a video message posted on 8 May 2017 on YouTube, a bearded and very thin Fr Tom, pleaded for the Indian government and the Catholic Church to do more to secure his release.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter that the Rev. Tom Uzhunnalil had been rescued, saying later Tuesday that he had reached Vatican City.

Footage of Uzhunnalil pleading with Pope Francis for help appeared at Christmas time previous year. An informed authority at The Salesian Province of Bangalore told Mirror, "At present Fr. Uzhunnalil is at our house in Vatican".

The statement added that the "Vatican priest expressed thanks to God Almighty and appreciation to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos". At least 16 people were killed in the incident, including an Indian nun.

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

Father Tom's release was welcomed by his family, who had to suffer through months of unverified reporting that he had been executed. We thank the Government of India.

"I renew my appeal for the freeing of all kidnapped persons in armed conflict zones", the Pope said.

Speaking in a news conference in Vatican, Fr.Tom said that his kidnappers spoke Arabic and a little bit of English.

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