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Malayali priest Fr Tom Uzhunnalil in Rome after release from Yemen terrorist captivity

Wednesday, Sep 13, 2017,9:54 IST By joji A A A

Rome | Kidnapped Malayali priest Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, who was freed after 18 months of captivity at the hands of terrorists in Yemen, has arrived in Rome for an audience with the Pope in Vatican.

Fr. Tom is staying at the headquarters of the Salesian congregation in Rome currently, where he will continue for some days to recuperate, reports say.

Uzhunnallil, who hails from Ramapuram in Kottayam district, was rescued with the help of Oman government after Vatican interfered in the matter.

He is visibly very weak.

Fr. Tom was flown to Muscat, the capital of Oman, on Tuesday.

Later, he left Muscat on board a Royal Oman Air force aircraft for Rome.

Fr Tom was kidnapped when his care home in the Yemeni city of Aden was attacked in March 2016. Four gunmen posing as relatives of one of the residents killed four Indian nuns, two Yemeni staff members, eight elderly residents and a security guard.

In May this year, a video was posted online showing the priest in poor health, calling for help.

Omani government said in a statement: “In response to the Royal Orders of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and as per a request from the Vatican to assist in the rescuing of a Vatican employee, the concerned authorities in the Sultanate, in coordination with the Yemeni authorities, have managed to find a Vatican government employee.