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Kidnapped Indian Priest In Yemen Pleads For Help In Video

13 May 2017

Father Tom Uzhunnalil, an Indian Catholic priest, abducted by terrorists in Yemen, has made a fresh video appeal for urgent help.

Father Tom Uzhunnalil was kidnapped in March 2016 when gunmen stormed a care home in Aden, a southern port city of Yemen. "It is a poor response, and I am sad about that".

In the clip aired by Aden Times, the 58-year-old says the state of his health is deteriorating rapidly and he be hospitalised at the earliest. "My dear family people, do what you can to help my release", he pleaded.

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"My dear family people, do what you can to help me release.May god bless you for that", he was seen saying.

Uzhunnalil suggests the abductors have contacted the Indian government "several times" and that he has seen the response from the authorities. He has claimed that he needs immediate hospitalisation and the Indian authorities" response, as well as that of the Catholic bishop in Abu Dhabi, had been "very poor' so far. A small piece of cardboard on his lap shows the numerals "15-4-2017", suggesting the video was shot on April 15.

"It was very, very poor", he added. He garnered worldwide attention last spring when rumors spread that he was to be crucified on Good Friday.

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"Neither the bishop nor the Indian authorities asked them what they really want to get me released". No one has claimed responsibility for the priest's kidnapping, making it hard for the Indian government to broker the priest's release.

In the earlier video, Uzhunnalil said that there have been reports in the media that everything was being done to secure his release "but in reality nothing seems to have happened".

CNA notes that since his kidnapping, Salesians in the Bangalore province of India have made continued efforts for his safety and release, including holding a prayer vigil January 4 and a worldwide novena January 15-23.

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Kidnapped Indian Priest In Yemen Pleads For Help In Video