2 Indian nurses evacuated from Iraqi hospital

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 25, 2014 22:30 IST

India has evacuated two nurses from the conflict zone in Iraq while 46 other nurses remained stranded in a hospital in Tikrit, taking the total number of those rescued so far to 36 as all Indian envoys in Gulf countries have been called to New Delhi on June 29 to discuss the Iraqi issue and other regional complexities.

"Two nurses in the zone of conflict, other than the group of 46 (in Tikrit), have been rescued and evacuated. They are now in Karbala which is again a safe place," the spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The spokesperson did not specify the place from where the two nurses were pulled out.

He said the modalities of their return were being worked out and their tickets were being facilited by the MEA.

"We have got their tickets and they will fly back to India as soon as possible. They are now in the safe zone," the spokesperson said.

The Ministry had earlier evacuated 34 Indians from the country while 39 other Indian citizens still remain in captivity.

On those in captivity, the spokesperson said, "those who think we are in the dark about it, we are not in the dark about it. As of today, we again have confirmation from multiple sources that these Indians remain in captivity and they are unharmed."

The MEA was in touch with a variety of sources who have confirmed this, he said.

With regard to the 46 nurses stranded in a hospital in Tikrit, the spokesperson said no one had intruded into the hospital and they have electricity and food supply.

"We are working with a variety of people on how best we can move them out from there but...it is not possible to use land routes and in such situations while we will work, we will also advise caution," the spokesperson said.

"And that we have done yesterday in terms of requests and advise to all of them to ensure that they do not move out of their places they are staying in, given the security situation there," he said.

The government meanwhile has called all Indian envoys in Gulf countries to New Delhi on June 29 to discuss the complexities of the Iraqi issue.

The spokesperson said "the External Affairs Minister (Sushma Swaraj) is monitoring the situation herself and she has now summoned all Indian Ambassodors in the Gulf to come to Delhi."

However, Indian Ambassador to Iraq Ajay Kumar will not be attending that meeting as he is required to stay in that country to "focus much greater on ground-level issues".

"We have summoned these Ambassadors to understand the complexity of the situation we are facing, both In Iraq and in the region generally," The Spokesperson said.

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