Abducted Indian Christian priest freed in Afghanistan

New Delhi, Feb 22: An Indian Christian priest, Father Alexis Prem Kumar, abducted in Afghanistan eight months back, has been released, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today.

"Delighted at securing the release of Indian Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar from captivity in Afghanistan," Modi tweeted.


"Have spoken to Father Alexis Prem Kumar. Informed happy family of Father Alexis Prem Kumar of his safe return after 8 months in captivity," he added.

47-year-old Prem Kumar, an aid worker, was abducted from Herat in Afghanistan by unidentified gunmen on June 2 last year.

An External Affairs Ministry spokesman had then said that Prem Kumar was working with an NGO and had no connection with the Indian Government or Mission or Consulate in Afghanistan.

A native of Tamil Nadu, Kumar was working with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), an educational charity, as its Afghanistan Director and had been in the country for over three years. Before moving to Afghanistan, Kumar had worked for the JRS, serving Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu.

Kumar had accompanied teachers on a visit to a JRS-supported school for returnee refugees in Sohadat village, 25-km from the city of Herat.

He was kidnapped from the school as he was about to return to Herat, the JRS said. Four days after the abduction, Afghan authorities had announced that three Taliban members had been arrested in connection with the case.


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