Yemeni captors did not harm me: Uzhunnalil

They Pretended To Hit Me In Video But Never Harmed Tom Uzhunnalil Narrates His Life In ISIS Captivity

"I even celebrated two birthdays in captivity. It's God's intervention", an emotional Thomas Uzhunnalil, 59, said after emerging from 18 months in captivity.

Indian officials announced on Tuesday that Fr. Uzhunnalil had been freed and brought to the Vatican City. In his first video message after being released on September 12, Father Uzhunnalil said he was "happy, strong in mind and soul" though he needed to recuperate.

Fr. Uzhunnalil expressed his thanks to the Narendra Modi government for its concern to secure his release.

Yemeni authorities blamed the Islamic State group for last year's attack, though no group has yet claimed responsibility for the abduction.

He said that he was transported to different places with his eyes blindfolded.

"They did not know me. Yet they did not harass me in any way, and cared for me when I fell ill", Uzhunnalil said. They spoke Arabic, I didn't understand them", he added, but "I was not afraid. "I used to do small exercises, freedom was there", he said in the press meet. I was not trembling. "Though bread and wine were not available, I prayed and God was providing spiritual bread and wine to me", he said.

"I was not mistreated".

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) has lauded External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's role in getting the release of abducted Christian priest from Kerala Father Tom Uzhunnalil and described the senior BJP leader as a "compassionate" person. There were several video messages from him after the incident, asking for help.

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