04/04/2016 11:23 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Abducted Indian Priest Tom Uzhunnalil Is Safe, Says Sushma Swaraj

Catholic Online/Twitter

NEW DELHI -- Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was abducted by a terror group in Yemen, is "safe" and efforts are underway for his early release, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told a delegation of Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), the organisation's spokesman said today.

Father Gyanprakash Topno, spokesman of CBCI, told that a five-member delegation had yesterday met Swaraj who strongly refuted reports that the priest was not alive.

"Father Tom is safe and efforts are on for his release as early as possible."

Topono was quoting the minister who also told the delegation that "government will facilitate the priest's safe return to India".

He said the minister told the delegation that more details cannot be divulged at this stage.

Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kerala, was abducted last month by a terror group in Yemen, a conflict zone. He had gone missing in Yemen after the Islamic State militant group attacked a care home run by Mother Teresas Missionaries of Charity.

Gunmen had stormed the refuge for the elderly earlier this month and killed a Yemeni guard before tying up and shooting 15 other employees.

Four foreign nuns, including an Indian, working as nurses were among those killed. Father Tom was captured from the southern Yemeni city of Aden by gunmen who killed at least 15 people at an old people's home in an attack that was condemned by Pope Francis.


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