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Father Tom reaches India after 18 months in Islamic State captivity; meets Narendra Modi

Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Vatican priest from Kerala who was abducted by Islamic State militants, returned to India on Thursday, ANI reported.

Shortly after landing at Delhi airport, he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

His return comes as a major diplomatic achievement for the external affairs ministry as Omani ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said secured the priest’s release from Islamic State in coordination with parties from Yemen.

After his return to Delhi, Father Tom was quoted by ANI as saying, "I thank the Almighty for making this day possible. I am grateful to all people who worked in their own ways."

Father Tom was released on 13 September, after which he went to Muscat.

The Islamic State held him for 18 months after he was abducted from an old age home run by Missionaries of Charity at Aden in Yemen.

Uzhunnalil, who hails from Kottayam district in Kerala, had been sent to Yemen in 2010.

However, when his five-year term in the country ended, the church asked him to stay back till another person took charge.

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Updated Date: Sep 28, 2017 11:26:59 IST

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