Yemen: An Indian priest abducted by gunmen in Yemen last month is safe and could be released soon, a Catholic group said on Sunday, quoting the Indian foreign minister.
Father Tom Uzhunnalil was captured from the southern Yemeni city of Aden by gunmen who killed at least 15 people at an old people’s home in an attack that was condemned by Pope Francis.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) said a delegation met Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj who said the government was working to secure the priest’s safe return.
“She has assured us Father Tom is safe and negotiations are on for his release which could happen very soon,” said Father Joseph Chinnaiyan, deputy secretary of the CBCI.
Media reports last week said the priest was killed by Islamic State militants on Good Friday, although no one has claimed responsibility for last month’s attack in which gunmen killed four Indian nuns, two Yemeni female staff members, eight elderly residents and a guard.
Father Chinnaiyan said the reports were inaccurate.
Aden has been racked by lawlessness since Hadi supporters, backed by Gulf Arab military forces, drove fighters of the Iran-allied Houthi group from the city in July last year.
International aid groups have pulled most of their foreign staff from Yemen due to security concerns.
Millennials are seekers of wholesome experiences. For them, travel is not just a means of escaping a busy lifestyle, but an end in itself. It’s an essential part of life, not a break away from it.
In sync with the new taste and preferences of young adventure-seekers, the following places are rising up to the occasion by enhancing their travel experiences:
An exquisite confluence of history and culture, Aurangabad is home to the renowned Ajanta and Ellora Caves, a lot of old forts, art galleries, and museums. Besides this, the place is a bubbling, simmering pot of a range of dishes that no food-lover can afford to miss.
What could be better than mountains and peace? Mukteshwar is the stuff that a nature lover’s dreams are made of. It is the perfect place to chill alongside Nature within the folds of mighty mountains while enjoying the soul-soothing embrace of sunlight and the skin-tingling kiss of wintry waft. Mukteshwar is less than an eight-hour drive from Delhi, making it one of the closest hill stations to the Capital.
Wayanad is another treat for nature-lovers who also seek unique cultural experiences. Situated at a distance of 76 kilometers from the beaches of Kozhikode, the region is popular among backpackers on account of its near-perfect weather and scenic setting punctuated with dams, lakes, and hike trails. The town paints a quaint and soothing picture with the lush green of mountainous plateaus, picturesque jungles, and idyllic valleys dominating. Squatting atop the Western Ghats and enclosing part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Wayanad is not considered the most beautiful district in Kerala in vain.
Pokhara is often called the tourism capital of Nepal – and it is not in vain that it has received this moniker. It serves as a gateway to the renowned Annapurna Circuit, is among the most exciting paragliding destinations the world over, and offers the entrancing sight of the beautiful lake framed by sky-piercing mountains. What crystallizes its reputation as the ultimate ‘Adventure Land of Nepal’ is that it cuts a less busy version of Kathmandu while holding on its own as a must-visit backpacker’s paradise.
It is only when one has explored the intricate network of waterways which can only have been knitted by Mother Chaos that one realizes that the tag ‘Venice of the East’ does Alleppey injustice. Perpetually carrying the fascinating look of a forest having just emerged from a spell of rain, the region is famous for its toddy shops, punted boats, coir industry, paddy fields, the floating villages, and houseboats! (IANS)