Father Tom Uzhannalil, held captive by ISIS since March 2016, reaches India

Father Tom Uzhannalil, who was held captive by ISIS for over a year, has finally reached India today. Uzhunnali, a Catholic priest from Kerala , was allegedly abducted from Yemen by ISIS on March 4, 2016.

"Very happy, thank almighty for making this day possible. All people who have worked in their own ways, I am grateful," said Father Tom after he landed in Delhi today.

© India Today File photo of Father Tom Uzhunnnalil

Father Tom was engaged in missionary activities in Yemen since 2010. Ever since it came to light that Father Tom had been in terror captive both the state and central government have been putting in all kinds of efforts to bring him back.

On March 4, 2016, a huge explosion rocked the old age home where Father Tom was serving. About 14 inmates and three nuns were killed in indiscriminate firing by the terrorists.

The only survivors of this attack were Father Uzhunalill and Sister Sally. While Tom was held captive by the terrorists, Sally managed to hide from the terrorists and later escaped. Sally was the first to report that Father Tom has gone missing.

Amidst ambiguity of his whereabouts, in May 2015, a video emerged in which Father Tom Uzhunalil was seen pleading for help in terrorist captive.

In December 2016, a video emerged where Father Tom who looked weak criticised the government for his situation. Even before his release, there were rumours that terrorists were planning to crucify him.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India has praised Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj for assisting in the release of Father Tom.


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