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Evacuation mission in Yemen could be completed in two days: Chandy

Expressing satisfaction over the renewed efforts by central agencies to rescue Indian nationals stranded in Yemen, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said the evacuation mission named Operation Rahat launched in the strife-torn nation could be completed in two days.

Kottayam: Expressing satisfaction over the renewed efforts by central agencies to rescue Indian nationals stranded in Yemen, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said the evacuation mission named Operation Rahat launched in the strife-torn nation could be completed in two days.

Chandy, who has been in constant touch with the Centre and Indian Embassy in Yemen to bring back the Indians, most of whom are from Kerala, lauded the manner in which today's evacuation process was carried out by various Indian agencies including foreign office, Navy and Airforce.

 "Today we have evacuated 700 people from Sanaa. The effort is to evacuate around 1,100 people tomorrow by sea route. They are expected to board the ships tomorrow," he said.

 "We can say today's efforts are very successful. If the efforts continue in same pace, we could complete the process of evacuation of Indians in two days," Chandy told PTI.

 The Chief Minister said 340 people, mostly Keralites, evacuated from Sanaa will arrive at Kochi airport tonight.

 He said two aircrafts of Indian Air Force and one of Air India have reached Yemen and one of these aircrafts will land in Kochi and other two in Mumbai tonight.

 Two Naval ships would reach Aden and Hodeidah seaports by tonight and were expected to return with the stranded Indians by tomorrow, he said.

 Chandy has asked the Centre to send more aircrafts as sanction has been received for Indian aircraft to land in Sanaa in Yemen.

Earlier, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chandy had said it was also a cause for concern that India was lagging behind in rescuing its people from Yemen as reports suggested that Russia, China and Pakistan had already evacuated all their citizens.

 In his letter, Chandy also suggested seeking the services of organisations like the Red Cross as stranded people were finding it very difficult to reach airports and seaports.

 Some hospitals and institutions had confiscated passports and the Indian embassy should intervene more effectively to get those documents back, Chandy had said.