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Over 180 Indians return from Iraq, 39 still in captivity

July 21, 2014 19:00 IST

More than 180 Indians returned early Monday from Basra on a special flight of Iraqi Airways, taking the number of people who have come back from conflict-hit Iraq to over 3,500. 

Iraqi Airways special flight from Basra with more than 180 Indians on board has reached New Delhi, the spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.

The ministry has already given over 2,500 tickets to bring back the Indians and facilitated an additional 1,000 tickets by the employers for the Indian workers, he said.

Meanwhile, the ministry was making all efforts to secure release of 39 Indians who are being held captive by Sunni militants ISIS in Iraq. The government has been in touch with all the neighbouring Gulf countries for the release of the workers. 

There were about 10,000 Indians in Iraq before the start of the serious strife between government troops and Sunni militants backed by Al Qaeda.

With MEA facilitating the departures, it is estimated that there are about 6,500 Indians in the non-conflict zones left. Most of these Indians are in Kurdistan and Basra. 

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