26-Jul-2017

Kerala priest kidnapped by IS in Yemen alive

Bengaluru, July 12: Yemen on Tuesday conveyed to India that Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was kidnapped by terrorists in the West Asian country a year ago, was still alive. 
 
Efforts were on to secure the priest’s release, Yemen’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulmalik Abduljalil Al-Mekhlafi, told External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. 
 
Al-Mekhlafi is currently on a tour to New Delhi. He met Sushma, who enquired about Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala, and expressed concern for the safety of the priest.
 
“The Yemeni deputy prime minister conveyed that as per available information, Father Tom was alive and the Yemen government has been making all efforts to secure his release.
 
He assured all cooperation in this regard,” Gopal Baglay, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said on Tuesday.
 
Salesian priest Uzhunnallil was kidnapped in April 2016 when the IS terrorists stormed into the home run by the Missionaries of Charity at Aden in war-torn Yemen. 
 
The terrorists had killed 12 people, including four nuns. One of the nuns Cecilia Minz was also from India.