Emotional homecoming for 500 Indians from Libya | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Emotional homecoming for 500 Indians from Libya

delhi Updated: Feb 27, 2011 23:50 IST

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Over 500 Indians on two special flights came home from violence-torn Libya to an emotional welcome on Sunday. Two more Air India flights are leaving to ferry more Indians back. The government said 530 Indians who have returned are in “good health and cheer”.

And, 67 Indians including 11 children and 2 infants, crossed over from Tabrouk (Libya) to Salloum (Egypt) this afternoon. “They are now on their way to Cairo in two buses and should reach by late in the evening. Food and hotel accommodation at Cairo has been arranged,” ministry of external affairs said in a statement. They will arrive in India on Monday.

Another group of about 80 persons from Derna/Baida area in Libya are expected to cross over some time on Monday. The MEA said that some Indian nationals are trying to cross over by the land route to Tunisia.

The Air India Boeing 744 flight from Tripoli is expected to reach New Delhi on Sunday.

Anxious relatives lined up outside Terminal 2 of Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here. The first flight, a Boeing 747, carrying 291 Indian nationals, arrived around Saturday midnight. The second batch of 237 evacuated passengers, who were picked from Libyan capital Tripoli, arrived in an Airbus A330 at 4.10 am.

Minister of state for external affairs E Ahamed, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao and secretary in the ministry of overseas Indian affairs A Didar Singh were among those present at the airport to receive the evacuated Indians.

Libya has around 18,000 Indian nationals.

MV Scotia Prince, a passenger ship with a capacity of 1,200 chartered by the government, set sail from Port Said (Egypt) at 10 pm on Saturday and is reaching Benghazi later Sunday.

The Indian government has also chartered a second passenger ship LA Superba with a capacity of 1,600. It is presently berthed in Sicily (Italy) and ready to sail to Libya as soon as port preparations are completed, the ministry said.

The naval ships INS Jalashwa and INS Mysore to set sail from Mumbai are equipped with full medical facilities on board, including operation theatres, doctors and paramedical staff.