It’s official: 46 Indian nurses freed, to return home

iraq-nurse-keralaIn a glimmer of hope amid deepening gloom in Iraq, all the 46 Indian nurses held hostage by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a Sunni militant group ravaging the Gulf state, have been released.

“I can confirm to you that the nurses have been freed,” Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry, announced on July 4.

They have been handed over to Indian officials at the Erbil checkpoint in Kurdistan from where a special Air India aircraft will bring the stranded  nurses back home to Kochi. A state official from Kerala and another from the centre are expected to accompany the aircraft.

Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy confirmed the news of the release, adding they were all safe. “We are happy to solve a humanitarian issue. The poor nurse had gone to Iraq to earn a livelihood and they wanted to come back.”

 

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