Four nuns from the late Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity were among 16 victims killed by gunmen at a home for the elderly in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden.
The missionary nurses were serving breakfast to the home’s 80 residents on 4 March when six armed assailants stormed the facility, located in Aden’s Sheikh Othman district.
As well as the nuns, the gunmen killed four guards and other employees, including several nurses, cleaning staff and a Yemeni cook. All had been handcuffed and then shot. None of the residents of the nursing home were harmed.
The nuns were identified by Asia News as Sister Anselm from India, Sister Marguerite and Sister Reginette, both from Rwanda; and Sister Judit from Kenya.
Thomas Uzhummanil, 57 – an Indian priest living at the facility – is missing, believed kidnapped by the gunmen. He moved to the care home for protection, after the church where he was serving – was attacked and torched last September.
Yemeni security officials blamed the attack on militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State and accused them of taking away Fr. Uzhummanil during the raid.
Yemen is #11 on the World Watch List. Islam is the state religion and indigenous Yemeni believers must keep their faith a complete secret – if discovered they face banishment or honour killing from their tribe, or the death penalty from the state. Several Muslim-background believers have had to go into hiding or leave the country.
But since civil war struck the country in 2014, Islamic extremists such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State have exploited the chaos and lawlessness, making it more dangerous than ever for Christians in the country.
Source: World Watch Monitor
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