Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil SDB kidnapped from a care home in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden last year has again appealed for help in a video recording carried by a Yemeni news website.
Father Tom Uzhunnalil was abducted in March 2016 when four gunmen posing as relatives of one of the residents at the home burst inside, killing four nuns, two Yemeni female staff members, eight elderly residents and a guard. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack and the motive for the incident was unclear, but President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has called it an act of terrorism.
"They are treating me well to the extent they are able," said Fr. Tom, speaking slowly in English. "My health condition is deteriorating quickly and I require hospitalisation as early as possible," he added in the recording.
The date April 15, 2017 was written on a cardboard pasted on his body. Fr. Tom said his kidnappers had contacted the Indian government and the Catholic bishop in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates with their demands, but the response was "not encouraging". "My dear family people, do what you can to help me be released. Please, please do what you can to help to get me released. May God bless you for that," he pleaded.
As reported by Reuters news agency the authenticity of the recording could not immediately be verified.
Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil SDB, who hails from Kottayam, Kerala was abducted in March 2016 by a terror group which attacked an old-age home run by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in the southern Yemeni city of Aden.
In December 2016, the priest, in a video, had appealed to Pope Francis and the Indian government to secure his release from his captors. (Reuters)