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ICC Note:

A fresh video of Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Catholic priest kidnapped by ISIS in Yemen in March 2016, has surfaced showing the Indian priest in failing health. Father Tom, originally from Kerala, stated that his health was failing and that he required immediate hospitalization. The priest also stated that his captors had received a poor reception from Indian authorities. Will India do everything it can to secure the return of Father Tom? 

05/09/2017 India (Times of India) – Father Tom Uzhunnalil, an Indian Catholic priest, abducted by terrorists in strife-torn Yemen, has made a fresh video appeal for urgent help after getting a “poor response” from authorities, saying his health was deteriorating quickly and required hospitalization.

Father Tom, 58, who hails from Kerala, was abducted in March last year by a terror group. He had gone missing in Yemen after the Islamic State militant group attacked a care home run by Mother Teresas Missionaries of Charity.

Gunmen had stormed the refuge for the elderly in April last year and killed a Yemeni guard before tying up and shooting 15 other employees.

Four foreign nuns, including an Indian, working as nurses were among those killed.

Father Tom was captured from the southern Yemeni city of Aden by gunmen who killed at least 15 people at an old people’s home in an attack that was condemned by Pope Francis.

In the video carried by Aden Time news website, a frail- looking priest said, “I am Father Tom Uzhunnalil. My date of birth is August 18, 1958. I received the message of concern that you sent me my dear family people. I am thankful to you. Thank you very much”.

“They (abductors) are treating me well to the extent that they are able. My health condition is deteriorating quickly and I require hospitalization as early as possible.

“They contacted our Indian government authorities several times and I have seen the message of their response. It was very very poor,” the white-bearded Father says.

The date April 15, 2017 was scribbled on a piece of paper seen on his body.

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