On the morning of Friday 4th March, four Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity (MC) were shot dead in a brutal attack by unidentified gunmen in the city of Aden in Yemen. The attacks were carried out at the nursing home run by these sisters for mentally retarded and physically handicapped children as well as some aged and dying people.
Those killed are Sr. Anselm from India, Sr. Margherite from Rwanda, Sr. Reginette from Rwanda and Sr. Judith from Kenya. Besides the four sisters, their workers were also shot dead. Among the workers, at least five killed were Ethiopians. The inmates of the house were left unharmed by the assailants.
The Superior of the convent is unhurt and is now with the Police in Aden along with the bodies of the four sisters and others who were killed. The whereabouts of the only Catholic priest left behind in Aden is presently unknown.
The Aden care home of the Missionaries of Charity is 17 km north of the city centre of Aden, in the direction airport, in Shaikh Othman District.
In 1998 there was another wanton killing by a lone man of three MC in Hodeidah, another major town in Yemen.
The Catholic Church in Yemen falls under the jurisdiction of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia which covers the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen with the seat of the Bishop in Abu Dhabi. The Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, Bishop Paul Hinder, who is based in Abu Dhabi, expressed his shock at the incident and prayed that the Lord may accept the sacrifice of these sisters and convert it into a sacrifice for peace.
The Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, have been present in Yemen since 1973 following the invitation from the then Government of North Yemen to take care of the care home for the aged and destitute. The house in Aden was opened in 1992.