World

Eyewitness Report Details Brutality Against Yemen Missionaries of Charity

Terrorists were hell-bent on killing all five nuns

Subir Halder/ITB/AFP

MofC letter

The extremists who killed the Missionaries of Charity in Yemen tied them up, shot them in the head and smashed their heads, according to the superior of the small community, who escaped the slaughter.

It was the same manner of killing that was used against the lay workers in the home for the elderly in Aden, where the four sisters were martyred.

Sister M. Sally, the superior who escaped, recounted the events to a regional superior in the Middle East, Sister Rio, who faxed the account to Sister Adriana, a former councilor of the Missionaries of Charity Superior General. The account was shared with all the houses of the Missionaries of Charity throughout the world. Aleteia obtained a copy of the testimony, which paints a frightful scene the morning of March 4, when Islamists murdered a total of 16 people at the old age home.

The account identifies the terrorists as “ISIS.”

“Don’t kill the sisters! Don’t kill the sisters!” lay workers shouted as the terrorists moved into the compound. The militants ignored their plea.

Two of the nuns killed were from Rwanda; one was from India, and the other from Kenya.

One recurring theme in the four-page fax, which bears a time and date stamp of 03/04/2016 18:05, less than 12 hours after the attack, is the urgency the terrorists apparently had to kill all the sisters. After killing four of them, they searched in vain for the fifth, Sister Sally.

“The ISIS men were already getting to the convent, so she went into the refridgerator (sic) room since the door was open,” the account states. “These ISIS men were everywhere searching for her as they knew they were 5. At least 3 times they came in the fridgerator room. She did not hide but remained standing behind the door — they never saw her. This is miraculous.”

Meanwhile, Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a priest who was residing on campus because the church in town where he was based had been sacked and burned last September, “heard the screaming and consumed all the Hosts,” the account notes. “He had no time to consume the large Host so he threw the oil out of the sanctuary lamp and dissolved it in the water.”

The letter reports that a neighbor saw the terrorists put the priest into their car. “They did not find any trace of Father anywhere.”

The letter strongly suggests that the terrorists were motivated by a desire to wipe out Christians and destroy any symbols of the religion. They smashed the tabernacle, crucifix, statues, religious articles and religious books. Police had to force Sister Sally to leave, in spite of residents’ cries for her to stay with them, because the police believed the terrorists would return to “finish the job,” killing the fifth nun.

None of the residents was harmed in the attack. The Missionaries of Charity were “the only Christian presence” in Aden, the letter says, “and ISIS wants to get rid of all Christianity.”

That is not an indictment of the majority of Muslims in Aden, though, according to the letter: Sister Sally told Sister Rio, that “the other Muslims” in the area “are so respectful of them.”

According to The New York Times, Aden “descended into lawlessness” after a Saudi-led coalition recaptured the city from Shiite Houthi rebels last summer.

“Yemen’s civil war has split the country in two,” the report says. “The northern region, where Shiite rebels are in control, has been struck by an extensive air campaign by a Saudi-led coalition. The southern region, which is controlled by the internationally recognized government backed by Saudi Arabia, is suffering from a power and security vacuum.”

The Islamic State group and Yemen’s al-Qaida affiliate have exploited the lawlessness and created safe havens in the south. Al-Qaida controls several southern cities while IS has claimed responsibility for a wave of deadly attacks in Aden, including a suicide bombing that killed the city’s governor and several assassination attempts on top officials.

 

The letter can be read in its entirety here: YemenMartyrsMISSIONARIESofCHARITY3.4.16-2.