Over 3,500 Indians have been evacuated from conflict-hit Iraq in the last one month even as nearly 50 Indian nationals still remain in the conflict zones of the war-torn country, including 39 construction workers who are in captivity in Mosul.
While 2,500 tickets have already been utilised to bring back the Indians, an additional 1,000 tickets by the employers for the Indian workers have been facilitated by the mission, the Spokesperson in the external affairs ministry said.
He said the ministry was making all efforts to secure release of 39 Indians who are in captivity of Sunni militants Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in conflict-hit Iraq. The government has been in touch with all the neighbouring Gulf countries for the release of the workers.
Meanwhile, official sources said there were “hold-ups” and despite best efforts some of the Indians were not ready to leave.
There were about 10,000 Indians before the start of the serious strife between government troops and Sunni militants backed by Al Qaeda in Iraq. 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, which are non-conflict zones.
Image: Around 26 Indians who returned from war-torn Iraq show their passports, as they make a safe return to Jalandhar, India. Photograph: PTI