There were threats but he was unfazed Relatives of priest kidnapped by ISIS
news Saturday, March 26, 2016 - 15:28

Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the priest who is believed to be held captive by Islamic State militants in Yemen, had received threats but it did not change his mind about being there.

Father Uzhunnalil is believed to have been abducted by ISIS militants from a home run by the Missionaries of Charity in Yemen.

Another priest in the strife-hit region, Father MJ George was able to provide information about what happened to Father Tom’s relatives.

“Eye witnesses told George that the terror group tied up his hands and dragged him to a vehicle. Others were killed. This is what we know about his abduction,” says Advocate Augustine, Fr Uzhunnalil’s cousin.

Although Father Uzhunnalil is a native of Pala in Kottayam district, many of his close relatives are settled abroad, and no one live in the family’s ancestral home.

“He had come home last September, but had no plans to leave Yemen even though there had been many threats. One of his uncles, who was also a priest was in Yemen. He may have influenced Tom’s decision to work there,” Augustine said.

The Indian Embassy and Don Bosco Provincial house had informed the family about Father Uzhunnalil’s abduction soon after it happened.

Augustine says that since there is no government and embassy in Yemen they are worried about his safe return.

Gunmen had stormed into the refuge for the elderly in Yemen on Friday, killing a Yemeni guard before tying up and shooting 15 other employees. Four nuns, including an Indian, who worked as nurses were among those killed.

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.