ASIA/AFGHANISTAN - Priest kidnapped, the JRS: "We trust in local communities"

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Herat (Agenzia Fides) - Every effort has been put in place to try to save the life of Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar, the Jesuit kidnapped on June 2 in a village in Herat by a group of six unidentified armed men. This is confirmed to Fides Agency by James Stapleton, head of the international communication office of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). "His salvation is priority. We trust in the help of local communities, given that the work of the JRS, especially in the field of education , is much appreciated", explains Stapleton to Fides . "At a time of deep shock and concern, we keep our hope and our commitment alive", he says. JRS has three projects in Afghanistan: in Herat, Kabul and Bamiyan, assisting, on the whole, more than 6,000 Afghans, without discrimination of race or creed, who have returned after a long period spent abroad as refugees.
Meanwhile, there is no official news or details regarding the seizure. No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. According to some observers, the Pakistani terrorist group "Lashkar-e- Taeba" (LET), responsible for an attack on the Indian consulate in Herat last month could be behind the kidnapping.
Fr. Alexis is a member of the Jesuit province of Tamil Nadu in South India. In an appeal to the authorities in India and Afghanistan, his family of origin has asked to put in action all possible efforts to secure his release, in complete safety. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 04/06/2014)