India scrambles to evacuate 3,500 as Yemen crisis deepens

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 27, 2015 10:21 IST

India explored options to bring home its citizens in Yemen as warplanes from Saudi Arabia and Arab allies struck Shia Muslim rebels fighting to topple the country’s president on Thursday.

There are about 3,500 Indians, mostly nurses, in various provinces of the tiny, oil-rich Gulf nation.

Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj rang up Indian envoy Amrit Lugun to enquire about the welfare of Indians in the capital Sanaa and other cities and asked how best they could be assisted, the ministry spokesperson said.

The government has set up a control room to monitor the situation after secretary (east) in the foreign ministry, Anil Wadhwa, convened an inter-ministerial meeting to examine options to assist Indians in war-torn Yemen, where all airports have been shut down.

The military assault turned impoverished Yemen into a new front in the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Egyptian security officials said the military intervention will go further with a ground assault planned once airstrikes have weakened the Houthi rebels.

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