A member of the Iraqi security forces lies dead beside a vehicle in Tikrit, which was overran by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. (Reuters Photo)
Forty-six Indian nurses are stranded in Iraq’s Tikrit in Iraq are safe and waiting for the violence to subside to leave for a safer place, said government sources. The ministry of external affairs (MEA) on Tuesday set up a crisis management team to monitor the situation in the country and assist Indian nationals in the affected areas.
The 41 Indian construction workers in Mosul are also safe. India has requested the International Red Crescent to go across to Tikrit and to ensure the nurses safety at first hand, MEA spokesperson Akbaruddin said.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has been keeping a tab on the situation. “The situation in Iraq is a high priority item on the agenda of the MEA today; Sushma Swaraj has herself been monitoring and reviewing the situation on a regular basis. As per her instructions the embassy of India in Bagdad is providing us updated reports on their contacts with the Indian nationals in the affected areas,” Akbaruddin said.
“We are afraid because we have no security here,” Marina Jose, a nurse, told an Indian TV channel.
Under the chairmanship of Secretary East, Anil Wadhwa, the team “will review all aspects of assistance that can be provided to the Indian nationals” Wadhwa met the Iraqi Ambassador in India Ahmad Tahseen Ahmad Berwari in this connection.
MEA has set up a control room with 24 hour helpline in Delhi to provide information needed by families of the Indians in Iraq.
The numbers are:
011 2301 2113
011 2301 7905
011 2301 4104.
The Embassy of India in Baghdad has also set up helpline:
+964 770 444 4899
+964 770 484 3247