17 more Indians evacuated from Iraq, 34 rescued so far: MEA

The Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday that 17 more Indians had been evacuated from the violence-hit zone of Iraq.

By Tarun Khanna | Last Updated: Jun 24, 2014, 19:32 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Tarun Khanna

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday that 17 more Indians had been evacuated from the violence-hit zone of Iraq.

Syed Akbaruddin, Spokesperson of MEA, addressing a press conference said that with the help of Iraq authorities 17 more Indians have been evacuated from the conflict zone. This has taken the total number of those rescued so far to 34.

Yesterday, 17 Indians were evacuated out of total 120 stranded.

However, while providing information on 39 Indians, who were abducted, Syed said that they are still in captivity, but are unharmed as per the information received by the MEA.

On the 46 nurses in Tukrit, Syed said that there is no threat to their safety and the MEA is in constant touch with them.

“The safety of Indian nationals in Iraq is a matter of priority for government of India. We are coordinating with the authorities there and have decided to set up our offices in Najaf, Karbala and Basra to provide assistance of any sort to Indian nationals,” he said.

The MEA has set up 24x7 helpline numbers in Baghdad for all kinds of assistance to Indian nationals. The numbers are: 0096477044444899, 009647704843247.

Moreover, a joint committee has also been set up in Baghdad to help Indians facing passport and visa related issues. “Indians who want to leave can fly from Baghdad. We are issuing advisory, telling all Indian nationals that they can take commercial flights if they wish to leave. We will provide all possible assistance, ” said Syed.

The ISIS has massacred hundreds of people since the start of the offensive, and captured huge swathes of Iraq in a drastic way.

Some 500,000 people have been internally displaced, according to UN estimates.

The ISIS militants who took over Mosul and Tikrit last week have been advancing towards Baghdad, even though the Iraqi government said that they had managed to contain the jihadi militants.