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With Oman help, Abducted Salesian priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil rescued from Yemen

By Joaquim Fernandes
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Mumbai, Sep. 12. Father Uzhunnalil was kidnapped by a group of armed men on March 4, 2016, during an attack on the home of the Missionaries of Charity in Aden, Yemen, where 16 people died, including 4 religious.  Official confirmation came from a tweet by Sushma Swaraj, the Honourable Indian Foreign Minister.  The ministry of external affairs has confirmed the report. ''I am happy to inform that Fr Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued,'' external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted.
In compliance with the His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Oman in coordination with the Yemeni parties have managed find a the Salesian priest. He has been transferred to Muscat from where he will return to his home in Kerala. Tom Uzhunnalil, a Vatican priest, expressed thanks to God Almighty and appreciation to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. He also thanked his brothers and sisters and all relatives and friends who called on God for safety and release.

A daily in the Gulf country, Oman Observer, reported that the priest thanked God Almighty and expressed his gratitude to sultan Qaboos for securing his release. The priest also thanked his brothers and sisters and all relatives and friends, the daily reported.

As soon as media reported that Uzhunnalil has been rescued, various Salesian priests including Father Albert Johnson, secretary of the Salesian Provincial Conference of India and Father Joyce Thonikuzhiyil, expressed happiness over the rescue.

The Salesians Provincial Conference of India thanks all those who were involved in the release efforts and all those all over the world who prayed unceasingly for the safe release of Father Tom.


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