According to one official, the assailants entered the premises in Aden’s Sheikh Othman district after telling the guard they were visiting their mother, before storming the building, tying up employees and opening fire.
The nun in charge managed to hide and escaped unharmed.
The pope sent prayers for the dead and expressed his spiritual closeness to those affected by “this act of senseless and diabolical violence”.
Pope Francis “prays that this pointless slaughter will awaken consciences, lead to a change of heart, and inspire all parties to lay down their arms and take up the path of dialogue”, Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said.
In a statement, the Vatican said two of the nuns killed were Rwandan, one was Indian and one was from Kenya.
“We are in close touch with our people in Yemen who are closely following the developments there”, added the official.
Sunita Kumar, a spokeswoman for Missionaries of Charity, said that the charity’s members were stunned at the ruthless killing inside the retirement home.
The bodies were transferred to a police station and then a hospital run by the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) aid organization.
Speaking to IANS, Chandy said that he just now spoke to Sushma Swaraj and it was she who told that a nun, who belongs to Chhattisgarh, has also gone missing from the care home in Aden.
“There was no trace of these groups, which go under the name of the Islamic State or (its Arabic acronym) Daesh” when pro-government forces were battling the Houthi rebels and their allies to push them out of Aden previous year, the source said, accusing them of “switching roles” with the Iran-backed rebels.
The latest round of unrest began in late 2014 amid angry protests by Houthis, a minority Shiite group that’s long held sway in northern Yemen but hadn’t had much influence in the country’s Sunni-led government.
Attackers kill 16 people, including nuns, inside Catholic facility established by Mother Teresa’s charity in Aden.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and Yemen’s al Qaeda affiliate have exploited the lawlessness and created safe havens in the south. Al Qaeda controls several southern cities while ISIS 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.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, also known as Ansar al-Sharia, denied “any links to the attack on the elderly care home”.