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Centre to send special flight for Indians stranded in Egypt

Source: PTI
January 30, 2011 18:59 IST
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The government has made arrangements for a special Air India flight to carry 300 Indians -- mainly women and children -- from Cairo, which has been rocked by violent protests for the past few days, to India.

The arrangement for the special flight was made at the request of the Indian community in Egypt in view of the prevailing situation there, the external affairs ministry said in a statement. The arrangements are being coordinated by Indian Ambassador R Swaminathan, officials said.

They said the embassy officials are in touch with the MEA, which is closely monitoring the situation.

At least 100 people have been killed and hundreds injured in the clashes. Nearly 1,000 people have been arrested across the country since the protests broke out five days ago against the Hosni Mubarak government.

The officials said most of the Indians are People of Indian Origin who have settled in Egypt. Indian Embassy has set-up a round-the-clock control room. The MEA had on Saturday issued a travel advisory asking Indians to avoid non-essential travel to that country.

"The embassy of India in Cairo is in touch with members of the Indian community who are reported to be safe. There are about 3600 PIOs in Egypt, of which some 2200 are in Cairo. In view of the prevailing situation in Egypt, Indian nationals are advised to avoid non-essential travel to Egypt for the present," the advisory had said.

Meanwhile, Air India sources said a Boeing-747 aircraft is standing by to operate on the Mumbai-Cairo-Mumbai sector to bring back stranded Indian passengers. It will be operated depending on the time when the curfew will be lifted in Cairo, the sources said.

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