NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday said there has been bombing and firing in the vicinity of the building where 46 Indian nurses are stuck in Tikrit-Iraq but added they were “safe and unharmed” and that it was hopeful of “extricating” them from the difficult situation as 230 Indians are already out of the war-hit Iraq.
The Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said an additional 1,000 people have approached them with the request that they want to move out of Iraq and an equal number had conveyed that they want to stay.
“There has been bombing and firing in the vicinity of their (nurses’) building. They have taken refuge in the basement. They are in an extremely delicate situation. We have informed the Iraqi agencies of their location and we remain hopeful that despite these difficulties, we will be able to extricate them,” the Spokesperson said.
He said the nurses were “safe and unharmed” and in touch with the Indian mission. About 39 Indians who are still in captivity, he said India’s understanding was that they were unharmed so far.
Meanwhile, Nepal, which has no embassy in Iraq, has sought India’s help in facilitating the departure of its nationals, to which India has agreed, he said.
The Spokesperson said that after a batch of 94 Indians who flew back on Tuesday, an additional 136 are coming back, taking the total number of those who have left so far to 230.
He said the Indians who are coming out of Iraq are mainly from north India followed by Hyderabad and Kerala. Meanwhile, Indian officials in Iraq are reaching out to compatriots themselves and busy facilitating the paperwork and ticketing, for those needing it, to enable them to fly back home.