Kottyam: Kerala priest Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, who was rescued one-and-a-half years after he was abducted in Yemen, has thanked God for his freedom.
“I thank God Almighty and Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said, for securing the release. I also thank my brothers and sisters, and all relatives and friends for praying for me,” the priest told Oman Observer daily.
As soon as the news broke out regarding the release of Uzhunnalil, many prominent people expressed happiness.
Confirming the reports of his release, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “I am happy to inform that Fr Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued.”
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan too joined in the happiness of thousands of people over the priest's release and said: “The news of Fr Uzhunnalil's rescue is heartening. Wishing him well.”
“I understand it was Oman's intervention that helped to secure his release. The government will ensure that all his treatment facilities are taken care of,” he added.
The priest's brother Mathew Uzhunnallil said their prayers have been finally answered. He said that the news has come as a huge relief to the desperate family that has been awaiting any news on him for the past one-and-a-half year.
A spokesperson of the church Fr C. Jimmy told the media that the news has been received with a great sense of happiness.
The Catholic priest from Kottayam was abducted from an old people's home in Yemen by a group of armed militants on March 4, 2016.
(With inputs from IANS)