Madurai: A 35-year-old construction worker from a village in the district, who returned on Sunday after being rescued from strife-torn Iraq, said he and his friends lived in constant panic with gun shots and shells booming around.
"We feared for our lives, hearing the sound of bombs...We did not have internet or mobile to convey our plight," Krishnan, a native of Kariyendal village near Melur, about 30 km from here, told newsmen at the airport here.
He said they had to stay put in the place where they were accommodated, on the order of some officials, after the company in which they worked was closed four months ago when fighting broke out between ISIS militants and the army.
"Though we were advised not to let the gun shots scare us...We were overwhelmed by fear when nine policemen near our site were shot dead. Later we managed to convey information about our plight through SMS and the state and the central government rescued us," Krishnan, who left for Iraq last year, said.
He said he was not aware of the fate of his colleagues Anandam of Thaniamanglam, Kannan and Udayappan (Sivaganga) Dass (Thondi), Rajendran of Tirubuvanam who are still in Iraq.
Krishnan was received by district officials at the airport.
As the momentum of evacuation picked up, 170 people were brought yesterday and this morning an Iraqi Airways special flight brought 200 people to Delhi.