Calls flood Kerala CMO over kidnapped Catholic priest

Thiruvananthapuram, March 28 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s office was on Monday flooded with phone calls from across the world wanting to know the fate of Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil who was abducted by the Islamic State terrorist group in Yemen, an official said.

The official who did not wish to be named told IANS that various agencies like the UN, Vatican and the FBI were among those working hard to rescue Uzhunnallil and were confident of bringing back the priest from his kidnappers.

“We have various other sources in Yemen, Aden and other Catholic institutions and we are confident of his release. All the calls that I am getting are from the international media and well wishers of the priest.

“Till this moment, we have no reason to disbelieve our sources and our mission is on the right track,” the official said.

Chandy is reaching Delhi later on Monday and is expected to call on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

On Saturday morning, Sushma Swaraj had tweeted that they were trying to rescue Uzhunnallil.

“Fr Tom Uzhunnallil – an Indian national from Kerala was abducted by a terror group in Yemen. We r making all efforts to secure his release,” she wrote.

Earlier this month, militants barged into a care home for the elderly set up by Mother Teresa in Yemen’s Aden in 1992, and shot dead many people, including four nuns of the Missionaries of Charity, among whom one was from India.

The militants abducted the Kerala priest and there has been no information about him ever since.

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