1,600 Indians in Iraq likely to return in 48 hrs

1,600 Indians in Iraq likely to return in 48 hrs

1,600 Indians in Iraq likely to return in 48 hrs

Out of the 2,200 Indians willing to leave conflict-ridden Iraq, almost 1,600 are likely to return to India in the next 48 hours, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has claimed.

The Indians are being flown by using commercial flights as well as special flights, operated by Air India and Iraq Airways. “One flight from Najaf carrying 200 Indians and another from Basra carrying 286 passengers are scheduled to arrive in India on Monday,” Syed Akbaruddin, the MEA spokesperson said here on Sunday.

A day after the return of 46 nurses, an Iraq Airways flight from Najaf brought back 200 Indians early in the morning on Sunday and another flight from Baghdad is expected late on Sunday night.

“We are processing documents for another 200 -odd Indians. We hope in the next 48 hours all 1,600 Indians would be back,” he said.

As the evacuation process accelerated in the last few days, the ministry has placed mobile teams, comprising six persons each, in Najaf, Basra and Karbala, which fall in the the non-conflict zone. The flight from Najaf is expected to have some Indians who were based in Karbala as a bus service between Najaf and Karbala has been arranged.

“Our advice to them is to leave. But if they are facing problems or are staying back because of tickets, the government is ready to provide them. We are ready to provide assistance in terms of contractual problems. Our assessment is 2,200 Indian nationals have in some form or other expressed their desire to leave Iraq,” he said.

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