Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil, abducted by terrorists in Aden in March last year, has been rescued from captivity from an undisclosed location in Yemen.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted about the release of the Catholic priest, who was abducted in March last year.
“I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued,” she said.
The priest’s release was achieved through the intervention of the Oman government.
According to reports reaching Kerala, after his release the priest was flown from Yemen to Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman.
He has left Oman on a chartered flight — either for New Delhi or for the Vatican, reports said.
The media in Oman confirmed the news of the release of the priest and posted a picture of him — standing in a room with the picture of the Oman king in the background.
He will be flown to Kerala later in the day.
Expressing happiness at the news, the priest’s brother Mathew Uzhunnallil said their prayers have been finally answered.
A spokesperson of the church Fr C. Jimmy told the media that the news has been received with a great sense of happiness.
In March 2016, militants barged into a care home for the elderly set up by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Yemen’s Aden and shot dead many people, including four nuns of the charity organisation, among whom one was from India.
After the shooting, the militants took away the Catholic priest. Since then, other than a few videos released from time to time, there has been no news of his whereabouts.
Uzhunnalil’s ancestral home in Ramapuram in Kottayam district is presently shut as two of his brothers live abroad, while another lives in Gujarat.