Indian nurses abducted in Iraq released, to fly home

Tags: News
Nearly 50 Indian nurses who were abducted by suspected Islamist militants in Iraq have been released and will soon be flown home, an Indian official said on Friday.

The nurses, all from Kerala, were being moved from the northern city of Mosul to the city of Erbil, some 80 km (50 miles) away, said P. Sivadasan, an aide to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Sivadasan said both he and Chandy spoke to some of the nurses by phone.

The 46 nurses were 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. "They are all safe and we're trying to get them back at the earliest," said Chandy, who met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi to discuss the nurses' predicament.

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.

Officials at foreign ministry were not immediately available to comment on the status of the nurses.

EDITORIAL OF THE DAY

  • Wealth inequality poses a bigger challenge for policy planners and economic governance

    Was garibi hatao call of Indira Gandhi ,made in the 1970s, a mere electioneering slogan?

FC NEWSLETTER

Stay informed on our latest news!

TODAY'S COLUMNS

Sandeep Bamzai

Cut & Thrust:The mother of all battles

Gassed out after the interminable interplay of the Yadavs in ...

Rajgopal Nidamboor

Of life’s essentiality and synchrony

It is no big deal to think of psychology as ...

Anil Dharker

No women, no Cry

EDM, as you would know if you are young, (and ...