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Indian crew members stranded in Iraq

india Updated: Jul 10, 2006 15:38 IST
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Thirteen Indian crew members of a cargo vessel are stranded in the Iraqi port of Basra since a month after an explosion hit their vessel leaving one compatriot dead.

The vessel Al Aber, which left Sharjah Creek on June 4 for Basra port, was hit by an explosion at Abu Fulus port on June 16, one of the injured crew members Deepak said.

"We didn't know whether it was a terrorist attack or what happened. But our compatriot, Imam Hussien, was killed and six of us injured," he was quoted as saying by the Khaleej Times.

Six of the other crew members injured in the blast are undergoing treatment in a hospital in Basra.

The crew member who died in the explosion has been identified as Imam Hussien, 21, from Bihar.

Three of the six injured have been identified as : Deepak, 24, Arunpal Singh, 21 from Punjab, and Bansilal, 21, from Rajastan.

The other three are African nationals. "We are in trouble. We contacted the Indian missions here but have yet to get a reply," Deepak said.

"The owner of the vessel, an Iraqi national, was not responding when we asked whether we can leave Basra. We are struggling for food and other facilities. Now we don't know what to do with the body of our compatriot," he added.

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