X Close

World

Published: Friday July 4, 2014 MYT 8:20:02 PM
Updated: Friday July 4, 2014 MYT 8:20:02 PM

Indian nurses abducted in Iraq released, to fly home: India officials

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM India (Reuters) - Nearly 50 Indian nurses abducted by suspected Islamist militants in Iraq have been released and will be flown home on Saturday, Indian officials said.

The nurses, all from the southern Indian state of Kerala, were being moved from the northern city of Mosul to Erbil, some 80 km (50 miles) away. They will be brought home on an Indian government plane.

"They are all safe but they want to come back at the earliest," Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told a news conference on Friday.

"According to our latest report, they have reached the border near the international airport and they can reach the airport within an hour."

He added that the Indian government had agreed to send a special aircraft. The nurses would fly back to the city of Kochi, on India's southwestern coast, on Saturday.

The 46 nurses had been stranded in a hospital in the militant-controlled city of Tikrit for weeks but were moved on Thursday against their will, India's foreign ministry said.

The nurses were held in a building in Mosul on Thursday night, where they were given food, said C.C. Joseph, father of two of the nurses, Sona and Veena, after speaking to them.

Joseph said he wasn't able to reach his daughters by phone on Friday.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other Sunni Muslim militant groups have seized towns and cities across Syria and Iraq in a lightning advance.

In addition to the nurses, 40 Indian construction workers are still in captivity.

About 10,000 Indians work in Iraq, mostly in areas unaffected by the fighting, but scores of them have returned to India since ISIL began its offensive.

(Reporting By D. Jose; Writing by Sruthi Gottipati; Editing by Michael Urquhart)

advertisement

  1. Unhealthy API readings in Sibu, Port Klang and Seri Manjung
  2. Selangor MB crisis: Khalid has another supporter - Nik Aziz
  3. Unhealthy air quality in Port Klang, Seri Manjung and Sibu
  4. Weightlifter Mohd Hafifi wins Malaysia's first gold medal at Commonwealth Games
  5. MH17: First crash victim identified, says Netherlands
  6. Developers banking on track record
  7. Malacca murals defaced
  8. Driving to Singapore to cost more
  9. Massive toll rate hike for Causeway users from Aug 1, including Singapore-bound vehicles
  10. RM400 one-way pass to go home

advertisement

advertisement