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Indian priest abducted in Yemen could be released soon

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Image source: www.breitbart.com

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.

Credits: Reuters

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Yemen’s Key Port City Faces Clash after Cease-Fire

They say the combat began overnight into Sunday, leaving fires burning on the main front lines in the city

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Yemen, cargo ship
FILE - Cargo ship and oil tanker ship are idle at the port of Hodeida, Yemen, Sept. 29, 2018. VOA

Yemen’s security officials and eyewitnesses say that fighting has erupted in the key port city of Hodeida, the first significant clashes since warring sides agreed to a U.N.-brokered cease-fire deal in December.

They say the combat began overnight into Sunday, leaving fires burning on the main front lines in the city’s east and south, while exchanges of artillery fire shook the beleaguered city.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorized to brief journalists, while witnesses did so for fear of their safety.

yemen, sea port, fire
Clashes Break out in Yemen’s Key Port City after Cease-Fire. Pixabay

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The fighting comes days after the internationally recognized Yemeni government, along with allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, accused the Houthi rebel foes of breaking the cease-fire and refusing to withdraw their forces from the city in line with the December agreement. (VOA)