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Catholic World News News Feature

Yemen Plans Security For Missionaries July 28, 1998

SANA, Yemen ( - Yemen's health minister, reacting to the murder of three nuns on Monday, called for the government to provide police protection for all religious workers in the country.

Three sisters of the Missionaries of Charity were shot in a drive-by shooting by suspected Islamic extremists as they entered the health clinics they served as nurses. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported that Yemeni Health Minister Abdullah Abdul-Wali Nasher visited the order's chapter house to express his sorrow and "contacted his colleague who is responsible for interior affairs to ask for protection for the other religious workers who operate in Yemen."

Yemeni officials said residents captured the gunman, who was identified as Abdullah al-Nasheri, 22, immediately after incident. During an interrogation the gunman said he had killed the nuns, all nurses, because they were "preaching Christianity," the official said. He gave the nuns' names as Sisters Zilia, 35, from India, Elita, 40, from India, and Michaela, 36, from the Philippines. They were among 10 to 12 nuns who provide medical services in Hodeida.