Iraq Update: 46 nurses moved to an unknown location

iraq-nursesThe 46 Indian nurses trapped in Iraq’s violence-torn Tikrit town have been moved to a new location, but are unharmed and in touch with Indian officials.

“They are on the road right now”,  said Syed Akbaruddin, the  spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry,  adding “but we don’t know their destination”.   He also added that Indian officials continue to be in touch with the nurses and had consulted them before moving out. Asked whether the nurses had moved on their own or are in captivity he replied, “in zone of conflicts there is no free-will”. Kerala Chief Minister Oonmen Chandy and Minister of External Affairs are in constant touch over the issue.

Earlier, Mr. Chandy had confirmed that there was a bomb blast at the Tikrit hospital. However, Syed Akbaruddin stated that he was unaware of such a blast, but did disclose that some “glass did shatter” in the hospital causing minor injuries to some nurses.

Stating that the Indian government will continue to pursue the wellbeing of the nurses he suggested that not all information can be disclosed as “stumbling blocks need to be changed into stepping stones”

The fate of the 39 Indian who remain captives in Mosul is also not known expect the “confirmation from people who have seen them unharmed, but in captivity”

So far around 900 Indians in Iraq have been provided with tickets, and will be flying to the nearest Indian international airport.  There are also a number of Indian who have expressed their desire to continue to stay in Iraq despite the violent insurgency waged by rebel Sunni militants since early June.


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