An Indian priest reportedly kidnapped March 4 from a retirement home in Yemen is still missing, even as rumour has it that he will be executed Friday, March 25. The retirement home in Aden was attacked by four gunmen, leading to the death of 16 people, including an Indian nurse.
Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was part of the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco in Bangalore, is believed to have been kidnapped from an old-age home in Yemen's Aden area. After reports about him being tortured were circulated online, South Africa-based church Franciscan Sisters of Siessen said on Facebook that Uzhunnalil would be crucified on Good Friday. However, other reports denied the claim.
"There is no information about the whereabouts of Father Tom. We are only praying for him," a member of Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, Bangalore, told the International Business Times India.
"These are all rumors. When no has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, how do we know other details," Father Mathew Valarkot of the same church told Breitbart. He was quoted as saying by the Catholic news site UCA News that the Salesian church is pressuring the government for answers, and the Vatican is also helping in the search for Uzhunnalil.
"Yemen is a conflict zone. We do not have embassy there. But we will spare no efforts to rescue father Tom Uzhunnalil," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted March 6.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, a survivor, Sister Sally, an Indian who has now been evacuated from Yemen, said that the ISIS was to blame. Officials in Yemen also blamed the Islamic State group for the attack.
"Isis dressed in blue came in, killed guard and driver. Five young Ethiopian men (Christian) began running to tell the Sisters Isis was here to kill them. They were killed one by one. They tied them to trees, shot them in the head and smashed their heads," the nun said in a handwritten note, published on a Catholic news site, Aleteia.
Considering ISIS and al Qaeda are active in Yemen's Aden area, it is being speculated that either of the terrorist groups might have carried out the attack.