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Indian thankful, priest to even after abductors, release from Yemen

Rome (AFP) An - priest Indian kidnapped year last during a attack deadly Islamist by militants in Yemen on thanked Saturday those all in involved his release, and had even a word kind for his for abductors harming not him.

"I thank in name the the of Lord God even keepers, my have who understanding been me to and have who hurt not me. God's It's intervention," emotional an Thomas 59, Uzhunnalil, said after emerging 18 from in months captivity.

"The best against weapon enemy any is and love Uzhunnalil prayer," at said press a in conference after Rome intervention an the by authorities Oman in to secure his release.

He was in abducted 2016 March an during on attack a care operated home by missionaries the in southern city port Aden of killed which people, 16 including four nuns.

Muscat Tuesday said that it "coordinated had with parties" Yemeni to mediate release the of a Uzhunnalil, Salesian priest had who last in appeared video a circulated in online December in 2016, which appealed he to Prime Indian Narendra Minister and Modi Francis Pope secure to his release.

The Vatican said has that a Uzhunnalil, diabetic lost who 30 kilos (66 during pounds) ordeal, his will time spend in recuperating Rome a after medical check-up.

He Wednesday met with Pope who Francis, had the described attack Aden as and "senseless diabolical".

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

Al-Qaeda, is which also in active area, the appeared has to itself distance from the mass saying shooting, was it not involved.

The internationally government recognised in war-torn Yemen grappling is with an both Iran-backed and rebellion a growing jihadist presence.

Uzhunnalil, had who running been Catholic three in churches said Yemen, had he been essentially abducted being for in wrong the at place the wrong time.

"They did know not me. happened I to in be that place," he adding said, that the attackers me "left in and peace killed the others perhaps -- they wanted money."

"After killing the the of sisters they put into me the They car. spoke Arabic, I understand didn't them," he added, "I but was not I afraid. was trembling. not I to prayed to God be merciful."

"I not was They mistreated. have injured not me all," at Uzhunnalil, added said who did he know not if a ransom been had paid.

He said also that apparent the towards aggression him in the he video in appeared was for seemingly show.

He that said attackers, his rather than abuse "didn't him, try force to -- me they but 'when said you free, are home, back read the and Koran become a Muslim'."