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Iraq crisis: 2,200 more want to return home

Iraq crisis: 2,200 more want to return home
Highlights

Iraq crisis: 2,200 more want to return home, About 2,200 Indians in non conflict zone of southern Iraq have expressed their desire to leave for home.

  • 201 Indians return home from Iraq on Sunday
  • Tickets provided to 1,600 to return, says MEA official
  • What about our people, asks family members from Punjab


New Delhi: About 2,200 Indians in non conflict zone of southern Iraq have expressed their desire to leave for home.

As the momentum of evacuation picked up, the facilitation process of transporting Indian nationals from Iraq is focused on the non conflict zone in southern Iraq, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.
Indians who were stranded in Iraq on their arrival at IGI Airport in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: Thehansindia e-Paper
Four mobile teams of six persons each have been placed in Najaf, Karbala and Basra apart from Baghdad which have collected details of those who would like to leave for home. "Our advice to them is to leave.”

Meanwhile, over 200 Indians landed here from Najaf in trouble-torn Iraq on a special chartered flight of Iraq Airways early on Sunday.

The Iraq Airways flight landed here at around 0430 hours carrying 201 Indians. More passengers are expected to be airlifted back to India from Iraq over the next two days via special flights, including those of Air India.

The Ministry of External Affairs said on Sunday that MEA has provided ticket to 1,600 Indian nationals stuck in the war-torn country to facilitate their return. 400 more Indians are likely to be brought back home from Iraq over the next two days, he said. Amandeep Kaur, a resident of Fatehgadh in Punjab's Hoshiyarpur district, has not heard from her husband Kulwinder Singh in over two weeks. Kulwinder is one of the 40 men from Punjab who are being held hostage by ISIS militants in Mosul in Iraq.

"Indian nurses from Iraq have come back but there is no news about our people who are being held hostage there," says Amandeep. Parminder Singh from Hoshiyarpur's Dasuya accuses the Parkash Singh Badal-led state government of not putting enough pressure on the Centre for the release of the Punjabi workers; his brother Kamaljit Singh is one of them.

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