Indian priest missing in Yemen remains untraceable: Family

The priest was staying at the Missionaries of Charity convent at the time of attack

The priest was staying at the Missionaries of Charity convent at the time of attack

The Indian priest, who had gone missing at Aden in Yemen, remained untraceable, according to his family sources.

Tom Uzhunnalil, 57, a priest belonging to Bangalore province of Don Bosco Congregation, was staying at the home for the aged, which was attacked by an armed group killing 16 inmates, including four nuns. Uzhunnalil had sought asylum at the old-age home after his earlier house was destroyed during the civil war.

Uzhunnalil belonged to Ramapuram village in Kerala’s Kottayam district. He had been working in various Don Bosco institutes in Karnataka before moving to Yemen five years ago.

His relative Shajan said the priest had visited Ramapuram in September last year in connection with the death anniversary of his mother, Thresiamma.

He returned to Aden only in November after the situation slightly improved in the war-ravaged country. Shajan said Uzhunnalil was planning to return to Bangalore in the near future once another priest from India assumes duty at Aden.

“We were told by his congregation that they were trying to locate the priest. The government has limited option to trace him as the India mission has been closed several months back,” said Shajan.

Meanwhile, Indian nun Sali M C, who escaped unhurt in the attack on the old age home, was reportedly safe.

Sali, who hails from Thodupuza in Kerala, is a member of the Kolkata-based Missionaries of Charity. She was the superior of the old age home which was attacked by the armed gang on Friday. Four other nuns, including one from India, had been shot dead.

A nun belonging to Missionaries of Charity in an old age home in Sana said Sali was safe and shifted to a hospital, where she is under protection. Her brother Tomy Pulparambil said Sali, 57, has gone to Yemen three years back, The Indian Express reported.

She had been working in various houses of the Congregation for last two-and-a-half decades.

“When the situation in Yemen had worsened, we had advised her to return to India. But, she was not willing to abandon the aged persons housed at that home. She used to tell us that she was ready to face any eventuality,’’ said Tomy.

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